How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Grand Bay Alabama
Earning a physical therapist degree near Grand Bay AL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Grand Bay 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Grand Bay AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as 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 summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Grand Bay AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Grand Bay AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Grand Bay AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’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 some Grand Bay AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Grand Bay AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Grand Bay AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Grand Bay healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back 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 therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Grand Bay AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Grand Bay AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Grand Bay Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Grand Bay AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Grand Bay, Alabama
Grand Bay is located at 30°28′27″N 88°20′31″W / 30.47417°N 88.34194°W / 30.47417; -88.34194 (30.474055, -88.341836), along U.S. Route 90 midway between the Alabama/Mississippi state line and the town of St. Elmo, a few miles inland from the Mississippi Sound.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,918 people, 1,364 households, and 1,078 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 452.3 people per square mile (174.7/km²). There were 1,441 housing units at an average density of 166.4 per square mile (64.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 89.00% White, 8.88% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.
There were 1,364 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.9% were non-families. 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.19.
Becoming A Physical Therapist Assistant Grand Bay AL
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Becoming A Physical Therapist Assistant. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current 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 following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Grand Bay AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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