How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Program near Scottsboro Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Scottsboro AL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Scottsboro AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Scottsboro 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 take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become 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. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Scottsboro AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have 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 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Scottsboro AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Scottsboro AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify 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 and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Scottsboro AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact 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 Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Scottsboro AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Scottsboro AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Scottsboro healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Scottsboro AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within 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 considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Scottsboro AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Scottsboro Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Scottsboro AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert T. Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.
From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport, but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.
It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.
College For Physical Therapy Scottsboro AL
Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on College For Physical Therapy. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Scottsboro AL.
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