How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Bay Minette Alabama
Getting a physical therapy degree near Bay Minette AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Bay Minette AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Bay Minette AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only 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 preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Bay Minette 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 earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bay Minette AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like 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 Bay Minette AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Bay Minette AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bay Minette AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Bay Minette AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Bay Minette healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Bay Minette AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bay Minette AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. 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 Bay Minette Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bay Minette AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Bay Minette, Alabama
In the first days of Baldwin County, the town of McIntosh Bluff (now in Mobile County, west of Baldwin County) on the Tombigbee River was the county seat. After being transferred to the town of Blakeley in 1810, the county seat was later moved to the city of Daphne in 1868. In 1900, by an act of the legislature of Alabama, the county seat was authorized for relocation to the city of Bay Minette; however, the city of Daphne resisted relocation. The citizens of Bay Minette moved the county records from Daphne in the middle of the night on October 11–12, 1901 and delivered them to the city of Bay Minette - where the Baldwin County seat remains to this day. A mural for the new post office built in 1937 was commissioned by the WPA and painted by Hilton Leech, to commemorate this event.
In September 2011, the town attempted to enact a program called "Operation Restore Our Community". It would have allowed those convicted of a misdemeanor to substitute imprisonment with mandatory church attendance for one year. However, this program was challenged due to violating separation of church and state, and the program's start was delayed for judicial review. It appears to have been scrapped.
Bay Minette is located near the center of Baldwin County in southern Alabama at 30°53′0″N 87°46′38″W / 30.88333°N 87.77722°W / 30.88333; -87.77722 (30.883446, -87.777183). It is sited on high ground 5 miles (8 km) east of the Mobile River/Tensaw River valley and 6 miles (10 km) west of the Florida border formed by the Perdido River. U.S. Route 31 passes through the center of the city, leading south to Spanish Fort and northeast to Atmore. Interstate 65 passes about 5 miles (8 km) north of the city, with access from exit 34 (State Route 59) and exit 37 (State Route 287).
How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant Bay Minette AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following 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 proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Bay Minette AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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