How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Loxley Alabama
Earning a physical therapist degree near Loxley AL is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover 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?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Loxley AL 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 stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Loxley AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Loxley AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined 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 portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Loxley AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Loxley AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received 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 choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Loxley AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure 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 Loxley AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Loxley AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Loxley healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Loxley AL home. Individuals 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. One thing to bear 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Loxley AL 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Loxley Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Loxley AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Loxley is a town in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 1,632. It is part of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area. Loxley is becoming a popular location for the expansion of the suburbs from Daphne and Spanish Fort, Alabama, because it is served by an Interstate 10 exit and is almost directly between the cities of Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.
In 1870, a man from Chicago by the name of John Loxley established a lumber camp in the area previously known as Bennet. The lumber camp included a commissary and saw mill. The men that traveled with Loxley settled in what later became the town of Loxley. John Loxley returned to Chicago when the lumber was exhausted.
The train depot opened on May 5, 1906, on the Fort Morgan Line. Before that, there were only wagon roads to Bay Minette. Also in 1906, the Loxley post office was opened by Octavia Sauer. She served as the postmistress and depot agent. By 1920, the businesses in Loxley consisted of an egg store, grocery store, two general merchandise stores, train depot, drug store, telegraph office, land office, repair garage, post office, bank, hotel, butcher shop, orange packing shed, cement block plant, a blacksmith, a feed and lumber store. A grammar school was built in 1925.
How Many Years Of School For Physical Therapy Loxley AL
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Many Years Of School For Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Loxley AL.
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