How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Course near Oakman Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Oakman AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply 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 evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Oakman AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Oakman AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee 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 rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Oakman AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oakman AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as 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 considering there are so many PT schools within the Oakman AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing 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 School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Oakman AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent 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 Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oakman AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Oakman AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Oakman medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller 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 student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Oakman AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oakman AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Oakman Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oakman AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Oakman is a town in Walker County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 789, down from 944 in 2000. Initially named Day (or Day's) Gap, it was renamed Oakman and incorporated in 1895.
As of the census of 2000, there were 944 people, 386 households, and 265 families residing in the town. The population density was 303.1 people per square mile (117.2/km²). There were 449 housing units at an average density of 144.1 per square mile (55.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 79.66% White, 19.60% Black or African American, and 0.74% from two or more races. 0.74% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 386 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.9% were married couples living together, 16.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.02.
PT Courses Online Oakman AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical 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 PT Courses Online. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools 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 field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Oakman AL.
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