How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Abbeville Alabama
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Abbeville AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Abbeville AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Abbeville AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Abbeville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available 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 prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Abbeville AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. 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 dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Abbeville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research 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 also. Get in touch with a few Abbeville AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Abbeville AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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 program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have associations with Abbeville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Abbeville medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Abbeville AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. 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, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Abbeville AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Abbeville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Abbeville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Abbeville is a city in Henry County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census, the population was 2,688. The city is the county seat of Henry County. It is the first city alphabetically, both by city and state, in the Rand McNally Road Atlas. It has two high schools: the public Abbeville High School and private Abbeville Christian Academy. Chapters of the Red Cross and Habitat for Humanity operate here.
Abbeville is located at 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139Coordinates: 31°33′59″N 85°15′5″W / 31.56639°N 85.25139°W / 31.56639; -85.25139 (31.566367, -85.251300). The city is located in southeastern Alabama along U.S. Route 431, Alabama State Route 10, and Alabama State Route 27 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Dothan and 23 mi (37 km) south-southwest of Eufaula.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Abbeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Physical Therapy Schools Abbeville AL
Deciding on the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important 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 Physical Therapy Schools. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Abbeville AL.
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