Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Baton Rouge LA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Baton Rouge 70801

Baton Rouge LA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Baton Rouge LA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Baton Rouge LA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Baton Rouge LA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Baton Rouge LA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in 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 regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Baton Rouge LA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Baton Rouge LA 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Baton Rouge LAWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Baton Rouge LA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Baton Rouge LA area and throughout Louisiana, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received 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 enroll in an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Baton Rouge LA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Louisiana Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Baton Rouge LA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate 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 additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Baton Rouge LA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Baton Rouge medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 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 many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Baton Rouge LA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Baton Rouge LA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Baton Rouge Louisiana?

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

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge (/ˌbætən ˈruːʒ/ BAT-ən ROOZH; from French bâton rouge [bɑtɔ̃ ʁuʒ] ( listen), meaning 'red stick') is the capital of the U.S. state of Louisiana and its second-largest city. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, it is the parish seat of East Baton Rouge Parish.

As its capital city, Baton Rouge is the political hub of Louisiana.[6] It is the second-largest city in the state, with an estimated population of 227,715 in 2016.[7] The metropolitan area surrounding the city, known as Greater Baton Rouge, is also the second-largest in Louisiana, with a population of 830,480 people as of 2015.[8] The urban area has around 594,309 inhabitants.

Baton Rouge is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, research, motion picture,[9] and growing technology[10] center of the American South. It is the location of Louisiana State University, the LSU System's flagship university and the largest institution of higher education in the state.[11] It is also the location of Southern University, the flagship institution of the Southern University System, the only historically black college system in the nation. The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is the 10th-largest in the United States in terms of tonnage shipped, and is the farthest upstream Mississippi River port capable of handling Panamax ships.[12][13]

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Baton Rouge LA

Selecting the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Baton Rouge LA.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Louisiana

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