How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Hanceville Alabama
Getting a physical therapy degree near Hanceville AL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Hanceville 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 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 design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Hanceville AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more 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 entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Hanceville AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hanceville AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Hanceville AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Hanceville 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 college options. It might also be prudent to contact 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 need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hanceville AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Hanceville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Hanceville healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Hanceville AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hanceville AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Hanceville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hanceville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Founded in Blount County, Hanceville was incorporated in May 1879. At the time of Cullman County's creation in 1877, half of Hanceville resided in each county. In 1885, county boundaries were redrawn and all of Hanceville was placed within Blount County. In 1901, county boundaries were redrawn again and this time all of the town was placed within Cullman County, for which it has remained.
Hanceville is located in southeastern Cullman County at 34°3′48″N 86°45′39″W / 34.06333°N 86.76083°W / 34.06333; -86.76083 (34.063463, -86.760908).U.S. Route 31 passes through the city, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Cullman, the county seat, and south 14 miles (23 km) to Smoke Rise.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,951 people, 1,167 households, and 710 families residing in the city. The population density was 718.6 people per square mile (277.2/km²). There were 1,323 housing units at an average density of 322.2 per square mile (124.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.09% White, 4.61% Black or African American, 0.61% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.75% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. 2.30% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Physical Therapy Assistant Colleges Hanceville AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Colleges. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Hanceville AL.
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