Category Archives: Tennessee

Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Springfield TN

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Springfield 37172

Springfield TN physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Springfield TN is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply 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 evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Springfield TN physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Springfield TN hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Springfield TN health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Springfield TN physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Springfield TN area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Springfield TNAlthough not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Springfield TN residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number 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 Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Springfield TN area and across Tennessee, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Springfield TN physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Tennessee Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Springfield TN area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have associations with Springfield TN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Springfield healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Springfield TN home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Springfield TN area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Springfield Tennessee?

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

Springfield, Tennessee

Springfield is a city in and the county seat[4] of Robertson County, which is located in Middle Tennessee on the northern border of the state. The population was 16,478 at the 2010 census and 16,659 in 2013.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 14,329 people, 5,453 households, and 3,778 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,173.9 people per square mile (453.1/km²). There were 5,836 housing units at an average density of 478.1 per square mile (184.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.56% White, 25.91% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.56% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.76% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.94% of the population.

There were 5,453 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.7% were married couples living together, 18.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.7% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.00.

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Springfield TN

Selecting the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Springfield TN.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Tennessee

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