How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Oneonta Alabama
Getting a physical therapy degree near Oneonta AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality 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 residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Oneonta AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Oneonta AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Oneonta AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Oneonta AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want 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 Oneonta AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Oneonta AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Oneonta AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Oneonta AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Oneonta health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Oneonta AL residence. Students 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. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oneonta AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Oneonta Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oneonta AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Oneonta is a city in Blount County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 6,567. The city is the county seat of Blount County. Oneonta is home to the Covered Bridge Festival.
A post office called Oneonta has been in operation since 1889. The city was named after Oneonta, New York, the native home of a railroad official. In 1889, the county seat was transferred to Oneonta from Blountsville.
Oneonta is located in eastern Blount County at 33°56'32.291" North, 86°28'43.586" West (33.942303, -86.478774). It is situated in Murphree Valley between Red Mountain and Sand Mountain to the northwest and Straight Mountain to the southeast.
Degree Needed To Be A Physical Therapist Oneonta AL
Choosing the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Degree Needed To Be A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Oneonta AL.
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