How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Lanett Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Lanett AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Lanett AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Lanett AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Lanett AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, 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 nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lanett AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Lanett AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Lanett AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lanett AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Lanett AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Lanett medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Lanett AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lanett AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Lanett Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lanett AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Lanett is a city in Chambers County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,468, down from 7,897 in 2000. Lanett, originally called Bluffton, is located in eastern Alabama, on the Chattahoochee River, southwest of Atlanta. The city's name is derived from Lafayette Lanier and Theodore Bennett, founders of the West Point Manufacturing Company.
Lanett is located on the eastern edge of Chambers County at 32°51'48.326" North, 85°11'58.862" West (32.863424, -85.199684). Its eastern boundary is the Alabama–Georgia state line, with the town of West Point, Georgia, bordering Lanett to the east. Interstate 85 forms the southeast boundary of Lanett, with the city of Valley, Alabama, on the other side of the highway. The unincorporated community of Huguley is along Lanett's southwest border.
The Chattahoochee River forms the state line and eastern boundary of Lanett from I-85 north to the downtown area, at which point the state line turns north-northwest and becomes a land boundary between Lanett and West Point, Georgia.
Cheapest Physical Therapy Schools Lanett AL
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important 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 Cheapest Physical Therapy Schools. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to 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 necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lanett AL.
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