How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Cottondale Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Cottondale AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Cottondale AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Cottondale AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Cottondale AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 attainable in the United States. Some 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 Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cottondale AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Cottondale AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Cottondale AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cottondale AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Cottondale AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Cottondale medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Cottondale AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cottondale AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Cottondale Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cottondale AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Richard Price Rummonds
Richard Price Rummonds (also known as Richard-Gabriel Price Rummonds), one of the foremost handpress printers of the late twentieth century, is also an author, publisher, typographer, and historian of printing. His two books on nineteenth-century printing, Printing on the Iron Handpress and Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, comprehensively describe the history, operation and merits of the iron handpress.
Born on April 26, 1931, in Long Beach, California, Rummonds was raised in Sacramento, California. He attended Syracuse University in 1949–1950, in the School of Fine Arts, with the intention of majoring in set and costume design and the University of California at Berkeley intermittently between 1950 and 1954, where he majored in English and Creative Writing. During this period he was on the staff of Occident, the student literary magazine, of which he became the editor for the Spring 1954 issue.
Rummonds began printing in Quito, Ecuador in 1966, using the Plain Wrapper Press imprint. His first book was a selection of his own poems. The following year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he printed a book of his short stories.
Physical Therapy Classes Cottondale AL
Selecting the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Classes. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cottondale AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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