Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Colfax LA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Colfax 71417

Colfax LA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Colfax LA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Colfax LA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Colfax LA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Colfax LA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Therapy Degrees Offered

Colfax LA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Colfax LA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement 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 typically take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Colfax LAAlthough not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work 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 part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Colfax LA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Colfax LA area and across Louisiana, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Colfax LA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. 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 schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Colfax LA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Louisiana or the state where you will be working. 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 fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Colfax LA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Colfax health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Colfax LA residence. Individuals who have decided 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Colfax LA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Colfax Louisiana?

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

Colfax, Louisiana

Colfax is a town in, and the parish seat of, Grant Parish, Louisiana, United States,[5] founded in 1869. Colfax is part of the Alexandria, Louisiana metropolitan area. The largely African American population of Colfax counted 1,558 at the 2010 census.[6]

Colfax was settled by European Americans as a Red River port within Rapides Parish. It is named for the vice president of the United States, Schuyler M. Colfax, who served in the first term of U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, for whom the parish is named. Prior to the Civil War, it was known as "Calhoun's Landing", named for the cotton and sugar planter Meredith Calhoun, a native of South Carolina. who published the former National Democrat newspaper in Colfax.[7]

During the Reconstruction Era, Colfax was the scene of the Colfax massacre on Easter, April 13, 1873. Some three white attackers and about 150 African Americans were killed in one of the most egregious acts of terrorism during Reconstruction.[8] A white militia was led against freedmen by Christopher Columbus Nash, elected sheriff on a Fusionist/Democratic slate. Freedmen were defending Republican officials at the county courthouse and had gathered there as tensions rose in a post-election dispute. A contemporary report by the U.S. military documented the three white fatalities and 105 black victims by name, with 15-20 unidentified blacks found in the Red River.[9][10] Because of the disproportionate number of deaths between whites and blacks, and documented accounts that at least 50 black prisoners were executed while under control of the white militia, 20th-century historians redefined the "riot" as a "massacre". The event is significant because blacks, who comprised the majority in the county, organized to defend themselves and their political rights.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Colfax LA

Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Colfax LA.

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