How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Centreville Alabama
Getting a physical therapist degree near Centreville AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 a variety of settings, including Centreville AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Centreville AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Centreville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Centreville AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Centreville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also obtain 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 agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Centreville AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact 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 two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Centreville AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Centreville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, 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 Centreville health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Centreville AL home. Students who have decided 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Centreville AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Centreville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Centreville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Centreville has a total area of 9.6 square miles (24.9 km2), of which 9.5 square miles (24.5 km2) are land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.52%, is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Centreville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps. 
Centreville is the site of the highest recorded temperature in the state of Alabama. On September 6, 1925, the temperature in Centreville reached the state record of 112 ºF. The data below are for the years 1916 to 1974.
PTA Programs Centreville AL
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on PTA Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Centreville AL.
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