How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Autaugaville Alabama
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Autaugaville AL is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Autaugaville AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Autaugaville AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Autaugaville AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Autaugaville AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Autaugaville AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized 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? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Autaugaville AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Autaugaville AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some 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 therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Autaugaville AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on experience 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 develop professional connections in the Autaugaville healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Autaugaville AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing 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 you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Autaugaville AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Autaugaville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Autaugaville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
As of the census of 2010, there were 870 people, 350 households, and 243 families residing in the town. The population density was 114.2 people per square mile (44.1/km2). There were 412 housing units at an average density of 54.1 per square mile (20.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 66.8% Black or African American, 31.3% White, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. 0.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 350 households of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.6% were married couples living together, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, 26.0% has a female householder with no husband present, and 30.6% were non-families. 26.6% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town, the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.
Becoming A Physical Therapist Autaugaville AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Becoming A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach 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 right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Autaugaville AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4