How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Whites Creek 37189
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Whites Creek TN is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Whites Creek TN private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Whites Creek TN health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Whites Creek TN area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance 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 becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Whites Creek TN residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Whites Creek TN area and across Tennessee, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several 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. Contact some Whites Creek TN physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Tennessee 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 useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Whites Creek TN 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 outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Whites Creek TN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Whites Creek healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Whites Creek TN home. Students 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Whites Creek TN area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Whites Creek Tennessee?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Whites Creek TN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Whites Creek, Tennessee
Whites Creek is a neighborhood of Nashville in the northern part of Davidson County, Tennessee. The community is named for the creek of the same name running north-south along U.S. Route 431. The Whites Creek area has its own US Post Office, with the ZIP Code 37189.
The historic Whites Creek District was established in 1780 and has some of the best preserved examples of the architectural and historical significance of this era in Middle Tennessee. It is now a part of Metro Nashville.
The criminal James Gang visited Whites Creek and rested there in the 1800s. Gang member Bill Ryan was arrested on March 25, 1881 in Whites Creek, prompting gang leaders Frank and Jesse James to leave the area.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Whites Creek TN
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability 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 Whites Creek TN.
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