How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Leeds Alabama
Earning a physical therapist degree near Leeds AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Leeds AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Leeds AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Leeds AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often 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 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although 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. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Leeds AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Leeds AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Leeds AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Leeds AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Leeds AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Leeds medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Leeds AL residence. Those who have decided 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. One thing to keep 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Leeds AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Leeds Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Leeds AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Leeds is a tri-county municipality located in Jefferson, St. Clair, and Shelby counties in the State of Alabama and is an eastern suburb of Birmingham. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 11,773.
The War of 1812, geography, geology, and three cultures shaped the history of Leeds. Lying at the crossroads of desecrated ancient Native-American paths in the center of Alabama, Leeds drew European and African-American settlers to a land of fertile growing seasons and rich sources of coal and mineral ore. The early settlers built churches and schools with many remaining in Cedar Grove, Oak Ridge, Ohanafeefee and Mt. Pleasant. The principal survey of Leeds was entered into Jefferson County Map Book 10, page 21, in 1908. The settlement, dating to 1818 and incorporating on April 27, 1887 as "Leeds", has existed along the banks of the Little Cahaba River; beside an historic stagecoach route; and along two large railroads for the greater part of American History.
James Hamilton, a Scottish-Irish American veteran of the War of 1812 and first sheriff of Shelby County, settled in Cedar Grove in 1816. John Richard Ingram Pashal Stewart, a Cherokee English teacher and American veteran of the War of 1812, settled at Ohanafeefee Village c.1840. At Oak Ridge in 1820 or 1821, European settlers formed Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the first CPC congregation in middle Alabama. By 1887, the original railroad pioneers included free African-American settlers who came to work at the Leeds cement plant and the Central of Georgia as the Georgia Pacific railroads. Some gravitated to historic Mt. Pleasant Church where a handful of freed slaves had founded Scott City, Hillard Holley, Ciscero Davis, Jeff Harris, and Bill Johnson started Leeds Negro/Primary School in 1921.
Physical Therapy Assistant Classes Leeds AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start 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 exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Classes. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Leeds AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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