How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Program near Adger Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Adger AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical 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 can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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 practice in diverse locations, such as Adger 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Adger AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Adger AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Adger AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Adger AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Adger AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower 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 support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Adger AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Adger AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Adger healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Adger AL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Adger AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn 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 Adger Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Adger AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
The community is served by a volunteer fire department as well as a Neighborhood Watch office, which doubles as a working office for Jefferson County sheriff's deputies who patrol the area. It is governed by the Jefferson County Commission and the various departments and facets of the County Government.
The town is named for Andrew M. Adger, originally of Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Adger moved to Bessemer, Alabama, when he became an investor in and secretary-treasurer of the Bessemer Land & Improvement Company. He also was an operating officer of the Debardeleben Coal & Iron Company. Adger is a rural community that arose in the late 1880s during development of Debardeleben's Adger, Johns, and Belle Sumter mines in the Blue Creek Coal Basin. The mines were operating at their peak in the early Twentieth Century. The Black Diamond Mine also operated in the Adger community along Blue Creek road where the mine's Hoist Tipple and Portal were located about 100 yards west of the Old Blue Creek Baptist Church. Since the closing of the mines the community has seen both periodic growth and decline. Currently ( March 2013 ) the Adger, Johns, Sumter and Black Diamond Coal mine sites are being strip mined by Durmmond Coal's Twin Pines Mining Company and only a few concrete foundations remain, hidden in the thick privet growth, that hint back to the original mining interest.
Its location is about 5.0 miles (8.0 km) northwest and about 6.5 miles (10.5 km) from Interstates 20/59 which merge in Northeast Jefferson County and run through Jefferson County into Tuscaloosa County and northward into Walker County. It is the former location of Oak Grove High School on Lock 17 Road. An F5 tornado destroyed it on April 8, 1998. City-Data.com reports the area to be 131 square miles (340 km2) with a population density of 23 per square mile. The zip code is 35006.
How To Become A Physical Therapist Adger AL
Selecting the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Adger AL.
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