How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Course near Lincoln Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Lincoln AL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with 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 residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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 practice in a variety of settings, including Lincoln AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Lincoln AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Lincoln AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy 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 essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning 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 in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, 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 offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lincoln AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Lincoln AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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. Call several Lincoln AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations 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 colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lincoln AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both superior 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 program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Lincoln AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Lincoln healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Lincoln AL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lincoln AL area, make certain 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 carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Lincoln Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lincoln AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Lincoln is a city in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1911. At the 2010 census the population was 6,266. It was named for Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who served in the American army during the Revolutionary War.
Lincoln is located at 33°35′35″N 86°8′20″W / 33.59306°N 86.13889°W / 33.59306; -86.13889 (33.593156, -86.138879). It is home to Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, employing over 4,000 people. Talladega Superspeedway race track is located near the city.
Lincoln has three public schools in the Talladega County Board of Education, Lincoln Elementary School, Charles R. Drew Middle School, and Lincoln High School, Home of The Golden Bears. The first graduate of Lincoln High School was the famous Cities Service Company CEO Burl S. Watson, who graduated from LHS in 1912.
How Long Is School For Physical Therapist Lincoln AL
Selecting the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long Is School For Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Lincoln AL.
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