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

How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Lafayette 70501

Lafayette LA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Lafayette LA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must 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 address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Lafayette LA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Lafayette LA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Lafayette LA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Lafayette LA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Lafayette LA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lafayette LAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lafayette LA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. 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 dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Lafayette LA area and across Louisiana, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Lafayette LA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Louisiana Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lafayette LA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Lafayette LA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Lafayette medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Lafayette LA residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required 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 Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lafayette LA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lafayette Louisiana?

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

Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette (/ˌlæfiˈjɛt/; French: [lafajɛt]) is a city in and the parish seat of Lafayette Parish, Louisiana,[4] located along the Vermilion River in the southwestern part of the state. The city of Lafayette is the fourth-largest in the state, with a population of 127,657 according to 2015 U.S. Census estimates.[5] It is the principal city of the Lafayette, Louisiana Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a 2015 estimated population of 490,488. The larger trade area or Combined Statistical Area of Lafayette-Opelousas-Morgan City CSA was 627,146 in 2015.[5] Its nickname is The Hub City.

The Attakapas Native Americans inhabited this area at the time of European encounter. French colonists founded the first European settlement, Petit Manchac, a trading post along the Vermilion River.[6] In the late eighteenth century, numerous Acadian refugees settled in this area, after being expelled from Canada after Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War. They intermarried with other settlers, forming what is known as Cajun culture, which continued as strongly French language and Catholic religion.

Jean Mouton, of Acadian descent, donated land to the Catholic church for construction of a small Catholic chapel at this site. In 1824 this area was selected for the Lafayette Parish seat and known as Vermilionville, for its location on the river. In 1836 the Louisiana Legislature granted it incorporation.

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Lafayette LA

Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Lafayette LA.

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