How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Course near Jefferson Alabama
Earning a physical therapist degree near Jefferson AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Jefferson 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Jefferson AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Jefferson AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so 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 school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Jefferson AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Jefferson AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Jefferson AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may 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 couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Jefferson AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required 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, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Jefferson AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Jefferson medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Jefferson AL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Jefferson AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option 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 may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Jefferson Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Jefferson AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Al Ricardo Jefferson (born January 4, 1985) is an American former professional basketball player. He played high school basketball for Prentiss High School in Mississippi before skipping college to enter the 2004 NBA draft, where he was drafted 15th overall by the Boston Celtics. He has previously played for the Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves, Utah Jazz, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.
Born in Monticello, Mississippi, Jefferson attended Prentiss High School in the small nearby town of Prentiss from 2000 to 2004. After starting for his varsity team as a freshman at Prentiss, he became one of the elite players in the country as a junior, drawing the attention of both college coaches around the country, and the scouts of the NBA. In his senior year for the Bulldogs, he averaged an astounding 42.6 points, 18 rebounds and seven blocks per game as his Bulldogs team went on to lose in the Mississippi state class 3A semi-finals to Byhalia High School 88-73, in which Jefferson finished with 56 points.
Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Jefferson was listed as the No. 1 center and the No. 4 player in the nation in 2004. He had originally committed to Arkansas, but opted instead to make the jump to the NBA straight out of high school.
Education For Physical Therapist Jefferson AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Education For Physical Therapist. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish 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 right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Jefferson AL.
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