How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Abbeville 36310
Earning a physical therapy degree near Abbeville AL is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Abbeville AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Abbeville AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Abbeville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Abbeville AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Abbeville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Abbeville AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Abbeville AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Abbeville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Abbeville medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Abbeville AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Abbeville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Abbeville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Abbeville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,688. The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
Abbeville is located at 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139Coordinates: 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139 (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Abbeville AL
Picking the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Abbeville AL.
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About CAPTE. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredits physical therapy programs to assure quality -- both that the quality of your course work is high and that the schools produce people qualified to serve the public. In order to take the licensure exam, you must have graduated from a CAPTE-accredited program. The buttons below link to CAPTE's database of ...
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Best Value Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Programs For ...
University of South Alabama (PU) Department of Physical Therapy Mobile, Alabama Website. Doctor of Physical Therapy. Estimated program cost: $65,550 (in-state), $107,206 (out-of-state) $17,422 less than the state average for DPT degree programs in public schools. Program has been producing the next generation of PTs for more than 30 years