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

How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Hammond 70401

Hammond LA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Hammond LA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, 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 necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Hammond LA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Hammond LA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hammond LA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Hammond LA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Hammond LA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare 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 typically made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Hammond LAWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hammond LA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Hammond LA area and across Louisiana, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? 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 investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Hammond LA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school 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 Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hammond LA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Hammond LA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Hammond health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Hammond LA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer 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 last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hammond LA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hammond Louisiana?

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

Hammond, Louisiana

Hammond is the largest city in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, United States, located 45 miles (72 km) east of Baton Rouge and 45 miles (72 km) northwest of New Orleans. Its population was 20,019 in the 2010 census; Hammond is home to Southeastern Louisiana University and is the principal city of the Hammond Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Tangipahoa Parish.

The city is named for Peter Hammond (1798–1870), the surname anglicized from Peter av Hammerdal (Peter of Hammerdal) — a Swedish immigrant who first settled the area around 1818. Peter, a sailor, had been briefly imprisoned by the British at Dartmoor Prison during the Napoleonic Wars. He escaped during a prison riot, made his way back to sea, and later on arrived in New Orleans. Hammond used his savings to buy then-inexpensive land northwest of Lake Pontchartrain. There, he started a plantation to cultivate trees, which he made into masts, charcoal, and other products for the maritime industry in New Orleans. He transported the goods by oxcart to the head of navigation on the Natalbany River at Springfield. He owned at least 30 slaves before the Civil War. Peter Hammond lost his wealth during the war, as Union soldiers raided his property.[4][5]

In 1854, the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad (later the Illinois Central Railroad, now Canadian National Railway) came through the area, launching the town's emergence as a commercial and transport center. The point where the railroad met the trail to Springfield was at first known as Hammond's Crossing. Peter Hammond's grave is near the center of town under the Hammond Oak, along with the graves of his wife Caroline Hammond (née Tucker), three of their children, and a favorite slave boy.[6] The Hammond Oak is a member tree of the Live Oak Society.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Hammond LA

Picking the ideal physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate 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 realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Hammond LA.

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