How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Graysville Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Graysville AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Graysville AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Graysville AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Graysville AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships 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 part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Graysville AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Graysville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Graysville AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. 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 schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Graysville AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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 program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have relationships with Graysville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Graysville healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Graysville AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Graysville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Graysville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Graysville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this city was called Gin Town. Because it had the only cotton gin for miles around, the community grew. It incorporated as Graysville initially in 1897. As the town grew, the need for businesses and houses of worship grew as well. One street over from this site, the Union Church was established in the early 1900s. All people of all denominations met and worshiped there as it was the only church for miles around. In 1927, the town charter was revoked on the grounds of "inactivity."
This city was reincorporated on November 17, 1945. The first meeting of the town council took place at the old school house on January 16, 1946. Later that year, the original city council established the Graysville Water Works system. In 1949, the city council established the Graysville Gas Board which eventually became the Graysville Municipal Gas System. During the 1950s and 1960s, the local coal mines and steel mills attracted families from all over Alabama. As a result of this growth, Graysville established the City’s first series of home developments and subdivisions. During the 1980s and 1990s, Graysville expanded its city limits by annexing multiple acres in what was then unincorporated in Jefferson County.
Graysville is located at 33°37′37″N 86°57′44″W / 33.62694°N 86.96222°W / 33.62694; -86.96222 (33.626955, -86.962255). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square miles (16 km2), all land.
Prerequisites For Physical Therapy School Graysville AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Prerequisites For Physical Therapy School. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to 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 necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Graysville AL.
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