How to Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Cowarts Alabama
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Cowarts AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive 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 ensure 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 nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Cowarts AL 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cowarts AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Cowarts AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cowarts AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Cowarts AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering 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 select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Cowarts AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cowarts AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Cowarts AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Cowarts healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on 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 opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Cowarts AL residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 choose 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cowarts AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Cowarts Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cowarts AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Cowarts is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. The town incorporated in August 1961. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 1,871, up from 1,546 in 2000.
Cowarts is located in north-central Houston County at 31°11′58″N 85°18′23″W / 31.19944°N 85.30639°W / 31.19944; -85.30639 (31.199575, -85.306272). It is bordered to the north and west by the city of Dothan and to the southeast by the town of Avon. A small part of the northern border of Cowarts is with the town of Webb.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,546 people, 603 households, and 469 families residing in the town. The population density was 213.6 people per square mile (82.4/km2). There were 684 housing units at an average density of 94.5 per square mile (36.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 84.93% White, 12.35% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Physical Therapy Assistant Degree Cowarts AL
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Degree. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach 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 field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Cowarts AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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