How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Program near Crossville Alabama
Getting a physical therapist degree near Crossville AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. 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 significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Crossville AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Crossville AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Crossville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 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 present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Crossville AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, 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 Crossville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Crossville AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Crossville AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Crossville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Crossville health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Crossville AL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Crossville AL area, make certain 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Crossville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Crossville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Crossville is a town in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,862, up from 1,431 in 2000. Crossville is located atop Sand Mountain, a southern extension of the Cumberland Plateau.
Crossville is located in southwestern DeKalb County at 34°17′12″N 85°59′27″W / 34.28667°N 85.99083°W / 34.28667; -85.99083 (34.286752, -85.990814).Alabama State Route 68 is the main road through the town, leading east 9 miles (14 km) to Interstate 59 at Collinsville and west 14 miles (23 km) to Albertville. Alabama State Route 227 also passes through Crossville, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Geraldine and south 7 miles (11 km) into Big Wills Valley.
As of the 2010 census Crossville had a population of 1,862. The racial and ethnic composition of the population was 87.2% non-Hispanic white, 0.4% black, 1.9% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 6.3% from some other race, 2.4% from two or more races and 8.3% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
How Many Years Of College To Be A Physical Therapist Crossville AL
Choosing the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Many Years Of College To Be A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Crossville AL.
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