How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Course near Eastaboga Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Eastaboga AL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Eastaboga AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent 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
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Eastaboga AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Eastaboga AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually 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 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several 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 offered 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 existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Eastaboga AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, 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 ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Eastaboga AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Eastaboga AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Eastaboga AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. 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. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Eastaboga AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Eastaboga healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Eastaboga AL home. Students who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eastaboga AL area, confirm that they are offered. 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 need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Eastaboga Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Eastaboga AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Eastaboga is an Unincorporated community on the border of Talladega and Calhoun counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was previously called McFall, named for a settling family in the 1850s, and incorporated in 1898, only to be disincorporated in 1901. The original community of Eastaboga was to the south and became known as Old Eastaboga after McFall's name was changed to Eastaboga.
The present unincorporated community of Eastaboga was listed as the incorporated town of McFall on the 1900 census, and had 820 residents. Of that, a majority, 482, lived on the Talladega County side, and 338 lived on the Calhoun County side. It was disincorporated after just 3 years in 1901 and the post office closed under that name in 1906. At some point on, it was renamed Eastaboga (while the nearby community to the south of the same name became "Old Eastaboga").
Online Physical Therapy Programs Eastaboga AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Online Physical Therapy Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Eastaboga AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama