How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Auburn University Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Auburn University AL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest 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 cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Auburn University 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 touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Auburn University AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Auburn University AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. 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 prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so 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 near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Auburn University AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Auburn University AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Auburn University AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Auburn University AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative 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 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 therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Auburn University AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Auburn University health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Auburn University AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Auburn University AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Auburn University Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Auburn University AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a land-grant and public research university in Auburn, Alabama, United States. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn University is one of the state's two public flagship universities.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university. In 1964, under Federal Court mandate, AU admitted its first African American student.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Physical Therapy School Requirements Auburn University AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy School Requirements. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Auburn University AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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