How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist School near Greensboro Alabama
Earning a physical therapy degree near Greensboro AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Greensboro AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Greensboro AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Greensboro AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Greensboro AL residence. 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 many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Greensboro AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’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. Call several Greensboro AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left 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 support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Greensboro 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 confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Greensboro AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Greensboro healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity 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 select will have to be within commuting distance of their Greensboro AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can offer 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 Greensboro AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Greensboro Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Greensboro AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Greensboro is a city in Hale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,497, down from 2,731 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Hale County, Alabama, which was not organized until 1867. It is part of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Greensboro was incorporated as a town in December 1823 as "Greensborough". It was named in honor of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. The name was soon simplified to "Greensboro". The community was known as "Troy" prior to incorporation.
Reflecting the history of the antebellum years and a culture built on cotton plantations to produce the commodity crop, several sites on the National Register of Historic Places in or near Greensboro are connected to this past. These include Glencairn, the Greensboro Historic District, Magnolia Grove, the McGehee-Stringfellow House, Millwood, and the Payne House.
Physical Therapist Assistant Education Greensboro AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Assistant Education. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that numerous factors 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 supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Greensboro AL.
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