How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Greenville Alabama
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Greenville AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence 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 the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Greenville AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Greenville AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Greenville AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior 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 program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined 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 curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Greenville AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Greenville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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 agencies for their reviews also. Call some Greenville AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Greenville AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Greenville AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Greenville medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Greenville AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Greenville AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Greenville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Greenville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135. The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.
Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville, but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers. The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.
The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.
Requirements For Physical Therapy School Greenville AL
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Requirements For Physical Therapy School. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Greenville AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama