How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Course near Red Bay Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Red Bay AL is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. 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 cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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 diverse settings, such as Red Bay AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Red Bay AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become 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 brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Red Bay AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having 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 Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, 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. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Red Bay AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Red Bay AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering 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 choose 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 enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Red Bay AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Red Bay AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. 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 college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Red Bay AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Red Bay healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Red Bay AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Red Bay AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Red Bay Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Red Bay AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Red Bay, Alabama
Red Bay is a city in Franklin County, Alabama, United States. It was founded in 1907. The population was 3,158 at the 2010 census, down from 3,374 at the 2000 census. The town's name comes from the native red clay soil and the many bay trees (Persea borbonia) in the area.
What is now Red Bay was originally known as "Vinson's Crossroads," and was initially located further to the southwest along Gum Creek. A branch of the Illinois Central Railroad was constructed through the area in 1907, and Red Bay developed into an important lumber and shipping center. The city incorporated during this same period.
The first school in Red Bay was located where the First United Methodist Church stands today. In 1903, this school had one faculty member who was responsible for teaching, as well as most of the custodial duties. After crops were harvested, students attended school through the remainder of the fall and winter months until the spring planting season.
Associates Degree In Physical Therapy Red Bay AL
Selecting the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Associates Degree In Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Red Bay AL.
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