How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Program near Butler Alabama
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Butler AL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Butler AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop 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
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Butler AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Butler AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Butler AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Butler AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 school, it may also receive 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, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 several Butler AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Butler AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Butler AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Butler healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Butler AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Butler AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Butler Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Butler AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
When Choctaw County was formed in 1847, Butler was created as the county seat. The town was located and settled in 1848. It is named in honor of Colonel Pierce Butler, a soldier killed in the Mexican–American War.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,894 people, 826 households, and 488 families residing in the city. The population density was 340 inhabitants per square mile (130/km2). There were 958 housing units at an average density of 171 per square mile (66/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.4% White, 26.7% Black or African American, 0.2% Native American, and 0.7% from two or more races. 0.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 826 households out of which 25.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.5% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 37.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.84.
Physical Therapy Training Butler AL
Choosing the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Training. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Butler AL.
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