How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Elberta Alabama
Earning a physical therapist degree near Elberta AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Elberta 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Elberta AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Elberta AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up 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. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more 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 near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Elberta AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Elberta AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Elberta AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Elberta AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Elberta AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Elberta healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Elberta AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Elberta AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Elberta Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Elberta AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Elberta is a town in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,498, up from 552 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Elberta is located in southern Baldwin County at 30°24'49.104" North, 87°35'57.667" West (30.413640, -87.599352).U.S. Route 98 (State Avenue) passes through the center of the town, leading west 5 miles (8 km) to Foley and east 10 miles (16 km) to Lillian, at the Florida border.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,498 people, 653 households, and 416 families residing in the town. The population density was 222 people per square mile (85.6/km2). There were 982 housing units at an average density of 142.3 per square mile (55.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 92.9% White, 1.4% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, .8% Asian, 2.5% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. 5.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
How Many Years Of School To Become A Physical Therapist Elberta AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Many Years Of School To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Elberta AL.
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