How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist College near Carrollton Alabama
Earning a physical therapy degree near Carrollton AL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Carrollton AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Carrollton AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Carrollton AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Carrollton AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Carrollton AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Carrollton AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Carrollton AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Carrollton AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Carrollton health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Carrollton AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Carrollton AL area, check that they are available. 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Carrollton Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Carrollton AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
The Pickens County Courthouse in the center of Carrollton was erected in 1877. The first courthouse in Carrollton was burned on April 5, 1865 by troops of Union General John T. Croxton. A second courthouse was destroyed by a fire on November 16, 1876.
Incorporated in 1831, the town was named after Charles Carroll of Carrollton, Maryland, the only Roman Catholic and longest-living signer of the Declaration of Independence. A post office has been in operation at Carrollton since 1831.
As was typical, the county jail was located at the courthouse. The courthouse square was used frequently as a site for public lynchings by whites of African Americans, part of numerous efforts to suppress them during a time of high tensions as whites struggled for dominance. It was part of a program of intimidation and racial terrorism, with these murders frequent in the decades on either side of the turn of the 20th century. Among the numerous African Americans lynched in Carrollton was John Gibson, hanged on August 28, 1907. Pickens County had the fifth highest total of lynchings in Alabama, according to Lynching in America (2015, 3rd edition), published by the Equal Justice Initiative.
Physical Therapy College Carrollton AL
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy College. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to active 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 be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Carrollton AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama