How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Ragland Alabama
Getting a physical therapist degree near Ragland AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Ragland AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Ragland AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating 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 Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Ragland AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning 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 two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Ragland AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Ragland AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Ragland AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Ragland AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Ragland AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Ragland medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Ragland AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Ragland AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Ragland Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ragland AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Reggie Keith Ragland Jr. (born September 23, 1993) is an American football linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Alabama and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
A native of Madison, Alabama, Ragland attended Bob Jones High School, where he was a varsity player in both football and basketball. As a sophomore, he played small forward on a basketball team that upset No. 1 Homewood to win the 2009–2010 AHSAA Class 6A Championship, with Levi Randolph being named MVP. Meanwhile, on the football field Ragland had 40 receptions as a tight end and six touchdowns. Mostly playing defense as a junior, he recorded 91 tackles in 2010 with 21 tackles-for-loss. Bob Jones went 8–4 over the season, losing 21–28 to Clay-Chalkville in the first round of the 6A playoffs. In his senior season, Ragland was credited with 97 tackles with 22 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. The Patriots allowed only 13 points per game and were 10–2 on the season, losing to the eventual 6A state runner-up Hoover in the second round of the playoffs. Ragland was also on the Patriots track & field team, where he competed in the discus throw and the shot put.
Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ragland was listed as the No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in his class. Shortly after his junior season, he committed to Alabama over Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee.
Education Needed To Be A Physical Therapist Ragland AL
Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Education Needed To Be A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with active 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Ragland AL.
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