How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Walnut Grove Alabama
Getting a physical therapist degree near Walnut Grove AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn 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 make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Walnut Grove 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 stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Walnut Grove AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Walnut Grove AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated 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 course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Walnut Grove AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Walnut Grove AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Walnut Grove AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Walnut Grove AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Walnut Grove AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Walnut Grove health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Walnut Grove AL residence. Those 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Walnut Grove AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol 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 Walnut Grove Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Walnut Grove AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Walnut Grove, Alabama
Walnut Grove is a town in Etowah County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Gadsden Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 698 (is much larger than census reports as most do not fill out the census reports in the area and most have a Altoona mailing address as well. ) . From 1880 until the 1960 U.S. Census, with the exclusion of 1890 when no figure was reported, Walnut Grove had the distinction of being the least populated community wholly within Etowah County. It lost that distinction in 1970 to newly incorporated Ridgeville which has held the title since.
Walnut Grove was part of Blount County before it was included in Baine County (now Etowah) in 1866. Walnut Grove was settled by the Battles family in 1813, the Morton family, and the Carnes family (namesake of the Carnes Chapel area near the ghost town of Bennettsville off of US 278) in 1823. Around 1825, the town was known as "Thomas Crossroads", after landowner Jordan D. Thomas. In 1848, the town was named "Cornelius", after postmaster Harvey Cornelius. In 1849, it was renamed "Walnut Grove".
The first college preparatory school for males and females in northeast Alabama was established by act of Legislature in 1884. The Walnut Grove College ran for 15 years, and during the college's peak the town had grown to have 13 stores, including a drug store with a soda fountain. The Walnut Grove College closed in 1899 as high schools were being established in Etowah County.
Physical Therapy Aide School Walnut Grove AL
Selecting the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Aide School. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Walnut Grove AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama