How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Course near Guin Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Guin AL is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Guin AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Guin AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Guin AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure 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 portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Guin AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Guin AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college 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 asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Guin AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Guin AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Guin AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Guin medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Guin AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Guin 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 have to carry. Also, ask 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 Guin Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Guin AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Guin is a city in Marion County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area. It incorporated in December 1889. It is the birthplace of the band Scufflegrit. At the 2010 census the population was 2,376. On July 13, 2010, the citizens of Guin voted to become the first city in Marion County, since Prohibition, to allow the sale of alcohol.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,389 people, 1,027 households, and 666 families residing in the city. The population density was 191.5 people per square mile (74.0/km²). There were 1,168 housing units at an average density of 93.6 per square mile (36.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.69% White, 11.85% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,027 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.88.
Colleges That Offer Physical Therapy Guin AL
Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding 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 Colleges That Offer Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Guin AL.
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