How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Troy Alabama
Earning a physical therapy degree near Troy AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Troy AL hospitals, health clinics, 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 stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Troy AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Troy AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Troy AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Troy AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Troy AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact 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 know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Troy AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Troy AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Troy medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Troy AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Troy Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Troy AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Between the years of 1763 and 1783, the area where Troy sits was part of the colony of British West Florida. After 1783 the region fell under the jurisdiction of the newly created United States of America.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,033. The 2016 estimated population was 19,191. The City of Troy is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama. Troy is a college town and is home to Troy University, the fourth-largest university in total enrollment in the state of Alabama.
For many centuries, the area in and around Troy was settled by different tribes of Native Americans, but became primarily known for its Muskogee Creek presence. Most Creek tribes lived along rivers or streams at that time. Near the Troy area, many Native Americans settled around the Conecuh River and the Pea River.
Physical Therapist How To Become Troy AL
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist How To Become. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Troy AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama