How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Mathews Alabama
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Mathews AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Mathews AL hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Mathews AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Mathews AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can 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 degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often incorporate 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 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 investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Mathews AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Mathews AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Mathews AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Mathews AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Mathews AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Mathews health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Mathews AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mathews AL area, make certain 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Mathews Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mathews AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Edwin Lee Mathews (October 13, 1931 – February 18, 2001) was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) third baseman. He played 17 seasons for the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (1952–66); Houston Astros (1967) and Detroit Tigers (1967–68). Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1978, he is the only player to have represented the Braves in the three American cities they have called home. He played 1,944 games for the Braves during their 13-season tenure in Milwaukee—the prime of Mathews' career.
Mathews is regarded as one of the best third basemen ever to play the game. He was an All-Star for nine seasons. He won the National League (NL) home run title in 1953 and 1959 and was the NL Most Valuable Player runner-up both of those seasons. He hit 512 home runs during his major league career. Mathews coached for the Atlanta Braves in 1971, and he was the team's manager from 1972 to 1974. Later, he was a scout and coach for the Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Oakland Athletics.
Mathews was born in Texarkana, Texas. He was six years old when his family moved to Santa Barbara, California. The Santa Barbara High School baseball field, where he developed into a star high school baseball player, is named after him. Mathews was signed by the Boston Braves in 1949. He played 63 games that year for the Class D High Point-Thomasville Hi-Toms, where he hit 17 home runs and earned a .363 batting average. The next year he hit 32 home runs for the Class AA Atlanta Crackers.
Pediatric Physical Therapy Schools Mathews AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Pediatric Physical Therapy Schools. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Mathews AL.
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