How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Deatsville Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Deatsville AL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Deatsville 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression 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
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Deatsville AL medical 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 bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one 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 readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Deatsville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate 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 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Deatsville AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Deatsville AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Deatsville AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After 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 Deatsville AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Deatsville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Deatsville medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Deatsville AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Deatsville AL area, verify 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Deatsville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Deatsville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Deatsville is a town in Elmore County, Alabama, United States. Although Deatsville initially incorporated in 1903, it lapsed at some point after the 1910 U.S. Census and did not appear again as incorporated until 2000. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,154, up from 340 in 2000. Holtville High School is located near Deatsville.
Deatsville is located in western Elmore County at 32°35′38″N 86°23′36″W / 32.59389°N 86.39333°W / 32.59389; -86.39333 (32.593958, -86.393454). It is bordered to the west by Autauga County and to the south by the city of Millbrook.
Alabama State Route 143 passes through the center of Deatsville, leading northwest 22 miles (35 km) to Clanton and southeast 8 miles (13 km) to Elmore. Montgomery, the state capital, is 23 miles (37 km) to the south.
Physical Therapist Education Requirement Deatsville AL
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Education Requirement. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Deatsville AL.
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