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Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Addison AL

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Addison 35540

Addison AL physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Addison AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Addison AL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Addison AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Addison AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Addison AL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Addison AL area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement 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 usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Addison ALWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Addison AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Addison AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Addison AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Addison AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Addison AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Addison healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk 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 therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Addison AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Addison AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Addison Alabama?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Addison AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Addison, Alabama

As of the 2010 Census Addison had a population of 757. The population was 99.1% white, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races and 0.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race.[10]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 723 people, 315 households, and 219 families residing in the town. The population density was 205.7 people per square mile (79.5/km²). There were 339 housing units at an average density of 96.5 per square mile (37.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.45% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.14% Asian, and 0.14% from two or more races. 0.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 315 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.78.

Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Addison AL

Picking the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional 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 of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Addison AL.

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