How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Program near Hatchechubbee Alabama
Getting a physical therapist degree near Hatchechubbee AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable 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 cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Hatchechubbee AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hatchechubbee AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Hatchechubbee AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up 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 practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hatchechubbee AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Hatchechubbee AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Hatchechubbee AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hatchechubbee AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Hatchechubbee AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Hatchechubbee healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Hatchechubbee AL residence. 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 local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hatchechubbee AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Hatchechubbee Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hatchechubbee AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Russell County, Alabama
Russell County is a county in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,947. Its county seat is Phenix City. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians.
Russell County was established by an act of the state general assembly on December 18, 1832, from lands ceded to the state by the Creek Native Americans. The county seat has changed several times: Girard (1833–1839), Crawford originally Crockettsville (1839–1868), Seale (1868–1935) and Phenix City (1935–present). It was named for War of 1812, Col. Gilbert Christian Russell, Sr., 1782–1861, 3rd U.S. Infantry.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 52,947 people residing in the county. 53.7% were White, 41.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 3.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Educational Requirements For Physical Therapist Hatchechubbee AL
Picking the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Educational Requirements For Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve 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 options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hatchechubbee AL.
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Accredited PT & PTA Programs Directory
About CAPTE. The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE) accredits physical therapy programs to assure quality -- both that the quality of your course work is high and that the schools produce people qualified to serve the public. In order to take the licensure exam, you must have graduated from a CAPTE-accredited program. The buttons below link to CAPTE's database of ...