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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Lockport 70374

Lockport LA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Lockport LA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, 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 necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior 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 important 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 what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Lockport LA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Lockport 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 patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Lockport LA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage 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 considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Lockport LA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Lockport LA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become 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 degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lockport LAAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lockport LA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs 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 best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, 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 Lockport LA area and throughout Louisiana, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Lockport LA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Louisiana Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lockport LA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. 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 college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Lockport LA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Lockport healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average 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 speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Lockport LA residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lockport LA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lockport Louisiana?

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

Lockport, Louisiana

Lockport is a town on Bayou Lafourche in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 2,624 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Lockport, founded in 1835, traces its history to Jacques Lamotte, who in 1790 owned a large tract of land along Bayou Lafourche. Lemotte sold a portion of the tract to Messrs. Mercier and Marcantel in 1814. In 1823 William Field purchased a parcel of the land and later donated 5 arpents of it on both banks of Bayou Lafourche to Barataria and Lafourche Canal Company. As part of the transaction, the company agreed to build a canal, which would link Bayou Terrebonne to New Orleans. Allou D'Hemecourt surveyed the area in 1835. His map bears the name Longueville. Eventually, the village's name would become Lockport.

At first the canal, completed in 1847, brought prosperity to the area. Three years later locks were completed at the point where the canal reached Bayou Lafourche. Shipping along the canal was brisk until 1868. After that time, part of the waterway was no longer in use. The crevasse of 1876 partially destroyed the locks. Today remnants of the brick bulwark are still visible under a blanket of weeds.

Select the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Lockport LA

Picking the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve 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 education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lockport LA.

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