How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Pinson 35126
Earning a physical therapist degree near Pinson AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Pinson AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Pinson AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Pinson AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Pinson AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Pinson AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Pinson AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Pinson AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Pinson AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Pinson healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Pinson AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pinson AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pinson Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pinson AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pinson is located in an area of SW - NE parallel ridges, with occasional rock outcrops, especially toward the east-facing ridge crests. Pinson is home to the Turkey Creek Nature Preserve and the Alabama Butterbean Festival.
The Palmerdale Homesteads are located within the city limits of Pinson. The Palmerdale Homesteads were the first of five farmers' resettlement communities built in Alabama under President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal in the 1930s. The first of the 102 homesteads were completed in 1935. A community store and elementary school/community center were completed in 1937 to serve the farming community.
Note: Census demographic data were enumerated for the Census-Designated Place (CDP) for somewhat different boundaries prior to incorporation in 2004. The 1990 population of 10,987 was for the CDP of Pinson-Clay-Chalkville, which was subdivided in 2000 into their own separate CDPs. Therefore, exact population for the Pinson portion in 1990 cannot be ascertained
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Pinson AL
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Pinson AL.
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