How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near Killen Alabama
Getting a physical therapy degree near Killen AL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Killen AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Killen AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Killen AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing 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 overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Killen AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Killen AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Killen AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. 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 schools.
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 programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Killen AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have associations with Killen AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Killen medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate 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 as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Killen AL home. Individuals who have opted 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Killen AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Killen Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Killen AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Killen is a town in Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". It was incorporated in 1957. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,108, down from its record high of 1,119 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,119 people, 435 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 585.0 people per square mile (226.2/km²). There were 484 housing units at an average density of 253.0 per square mile (97.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.26% White, 2.23% Black or African American, 0.45% Asian, 1.61% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. 2.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 435 households, 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 2.94.
PTA Training Killen AL
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on PTA Training. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Killen AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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