How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Hayneville Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Hayneville AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Hayneville AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Hayneville AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Hayneville AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hayneville AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Hayneville AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Hayneville AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left 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 support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hayneville 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 excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both exceptional 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Hayneville AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Hayneville healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Hayneville AL home. Those who have decided 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hayneville AL area, check that they are offered. 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Hayneville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hayneville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Hayneville is a town in Lowndes County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 932, down from its record high of 1,177 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Lowndes County. It is also part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area. It initially incorporated in 1831, but lapsed, finally reincorporating in 1967. Before 1970, the town appeared only twice on the U.S. Census: in 1850 and 1890. The 1850 estimate of 800 residents ranked it as the largest town in the county at the time.
Located in the fertile Black Belt region, Hayneville was the county seat in a slave society based on cotton production. The town was later a railway terminus and home to the Hayneville Railway Company, which was organized in 1903. Two years later, the company was reorganized as the Hayneville & Montgomery Railroad Company and provided connections for shipping with the L&N Railroad Company's tracks.
During the early part of the 20th century, the boll weevil invaded the South, destroying cotton crops across the most productive counties. At the same time, In the latter half of the 20th century, the agricultural focus shifted to more diverse crops and livestock. Hayneville, like the rest of the Black Belt, has struggled to shift to a more productive economy.
Good Colleges For Physical Therapy Hayneville AL
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Good Colleges For Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Hayneville AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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