How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Childersburg Alabama
Getting a physical therapist degree near Childersburg AL is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Childersburg 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems 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 abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Childersburg AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, 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 bear in mind for anyone considering getting 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Childersburg AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Childersburg AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Childersburg AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Childersburg AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Childersburg AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Childersburg AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Childersburg health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Childersburg AL home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Childersburg AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Childersburg Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Childersburg AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Childersburg is a city in Talladega County in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was incorporated in 1889. At the 2010 census the population was 5,175. It claims a history dating back before 1540, when it was noted as a village of the Coosa Nation visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, important during World War II, was located 4 miles (6 km) north of Childersburg.
Successive indigenous peoples had lived in the area for thousands of years. In the 16th century, people identified as part of the Kymulga-phase culture (of the larger Mississippian culture) lived at Talisi, the former site of Childersburg. In the fall of 1540, the Spanish Hernando de Soto expedition rested here for about one month during its exploration of the Southeast. Childersburg calls itself "The Oldest City in America". The Abihka people (part of those who became known as the Muskogee or Creek) dominated the area by the 18th century.
The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, a munitions plant, was established in Childersburg in 1941 and operated throughout World War II until August 1945. Operated by DuPont, the plant produced explosives, such as nitrocellulose, trinitrotoluene (TNT), and dinitrotoluene (DNT). The plant also secretly produced heavy water to support the Manhattan Project. In 1940 the town had about five hundred people. Over fourteen thousand workers came to build and later operate the new facility.
DPT Degree Childersburg AL
Choosing the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on DPT Degree. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Childersburg AL.
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