How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Gordo Alabama
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Gordo AL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Gordo AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although 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
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Gordo AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as 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 Gordo AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up 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. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Gordo AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Gordo AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as 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 community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Gordo AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Gordo AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Gordo AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Gordo medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Gordo AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gordo AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Gordo Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Gordo AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Gordo is a town in Pickens County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,750, up from 1,677 in 2000. It was the second largest town in Pickens County as of 2010, taking the title from Reform, which it previously held in 1960 and 1970. The town incorporated in 1900.
The city is located in west central Alabama along U.S. Route 82, which runs northwest to southeast through the town. It leads southeast 22 mi (35 km) to Northport and 23 mi (37 km) to Tuscaloosa. It runs northwest 8 mi (13 km) to Reform and 37 mi (60 km) to Columbus, Mississippi. Alabama State Route 86 runs west 14 mi (23 km) to Carrollton, the Pickens county seat. Alabama State Route 159 runs north 31 mi (50 km) to Fayette.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,750 people residing in the town. 58.9% were White, 37.8% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.9% from some other race and 2.0% of two or more races. 1.5% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Online Gordo AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Online. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with active 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 additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Gordo AL.
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