Physical Therapy Program Requirements Pleasant Grove AL

How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Pleasant Grove Alabama

Pleasant Grove AL physical therapist in pool with patientGetting a physical therapy degree near Pleasant Grove AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated 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 must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides 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 what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Pleasant Grove AL physical therapy patient learning to walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Pleasant Grove AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sports injuries
  • Fire injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Pleasant Grove AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Pleasant Grove AL physical therpaist welcoming patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Pleasant Grove AL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

student attending physical therapy degree program online in Pleasant Grove ALWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of 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 school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pleasant Grove AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

Questions to ask Pleasant Grove AL physical therapy schoolsBy now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Pleasant Grove AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Pleasant Grove AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see 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 know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pleasant Grove AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each 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 differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Pleasant Grove AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Pleasant Grove healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller 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 student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Pleasant Grove AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pleasant Grove AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Pleasant Grove Alabama?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pleasant Grove AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.

Pleasant Grove, Alabama

It was established in 1889, but incorporated as a city in January 1937. The incorporation came about by reason of a rather unusual circumstance. The town sits on land honeycombed by coal mines. For many years the residents had relied on water wells for their water supply. As years passed and more mining was done, Pleasant Grove found itself confronted with a problem. Residents would sometimes go to their well to draw water only to find there was none. The water had gone into the mines.

During the mid to late 30s, the Federal Government had a program for financing the building of local water systems. In exploring the possibility of securing such funds, it was revealed that in order to secure such financing a community must be legally incorporated. At this time the incorporation became a reality.

The first appointed Mayor of Pleasant Grove was W.P. Stone. The city is governed by a mayor and five council members who serve four-year terms. Elections for city officials is held during the summer of each leap year with four-year terms beginning the first Monday in October. The area known as Pleasant Grove, Alabama was first homesteaded in September 1836. Pleasant Grove is in Jefferson County. Although no one seems to know when or exactly how the town came by its name, old documents indicate that at least part of this area was called Pleasant Grove as early as 1884. Pleasant Grove was made up of four communities which included Frog Pond, Lizard Ridge, Cottage Hill, and Pleasant Grove.

Physical Therapy Program Requirements Pleasant Grove AL

Choosing the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant 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 Physical Therapy Program Requirements. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pleasant Grove AL.

Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama

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