How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Eutaw Alabama
Earning a physical therapy degree near Eutaw AL is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 a variety of locations, including Eutaw AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Eutaw AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Eutaw AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Eutaw AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Eutaw AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of 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 rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Eutaw AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. 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 Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Eutaw AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Eutaw AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Eutaw health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Eutaw AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some 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 might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to 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 school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Eutaw AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Eutaw Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Eutaw AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Eutaw (/ˈjuːtɔː/ YEW-taw) is a city in and the county seat of Greene County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,934. The city was named in honor of the Battle of Eutaw Springs, the last engagement of the American Revolutionary War in the Carolinas.
Eutaw was laid out in December 1838 at the time that Greene County voters chose to relocate the county seat from Erie, which was located on the Black Warrior River. It was incorporated by an act of the state legislature on January 2, 1841.
As the county seat, it also developed as the trading center for the county, which developed an economy based on cultivation and processing of cotton, the chief commodity crop in the antebellum years. The crop was lucrative for major planters, who depended on the labor of enslaved African Americans, and they built a number of fine homes in the city.
Physical Therapist Assistant Degree Eutaw AL
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have 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 decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Assistant Degree. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Eutaw AL.
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