How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Course near Kellyton Alabama
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Kellyton AL is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. 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 practice in diverse locations, including Kellyton AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Kellyton AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Kellyton AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can 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 most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases 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 common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kellyton AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Kellyton AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Kellyton AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kellyton AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. 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 college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Kellyton AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Kellyton healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Kellyton AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kellyton AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Kellyton Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kellyton AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
How Do I Become A Physical Therapist Kellyton AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. 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 How Do I Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program 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 appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Kellyton AL.
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