How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near New Brockton Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near New Brockton AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be 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 necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as New Brockton AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other New Brockton AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize 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 available in the New Brockton 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s New Brockton AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the New Brockton AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few New Brockton AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the New Brockton AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of 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 therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with New Brockton AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the New Brockton medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their New Brockton AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the New Brockton AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near New Brockton Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the New Brockton AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
New Brockton, Alabama
New Brockton is located east of the center of Coffee County at 31°22′52″N 85°55′28″W / 31.38111°N 85.92444°W / 31.38111; -85.92444 (31.381138, -85.924339). The city of Enterprise is directly to the southeast.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,146 people, 469 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 143 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 70.1 per square mile (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.1% White, 21.0% Black or African American, 5.5% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 469 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
Top DPT Programs New Brockton AL
Picking the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Top DPT Programs. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in New Brockton AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama