How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Hazel Green Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Hazel Green AL is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate 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 choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Hazel Green AL hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Hazel Green AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for 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 routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Hazel Green AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated 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 program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hazel Green AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Hazel Green AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school 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 guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 as well. Get in touch with some Hazel Green AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure 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 Hazel Green AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Hazel Green AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Hazel Green healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Hazel Green AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hazel Green AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Hazel Green Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hazel Green AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Hazel Green, Alabama
Hazel Green is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community was 3,630. The 2010 estimated population for the Hazel Green zip code 35750 was 12,783.
The town was named Hazel Green because of the hazel bushes along the road were of a vibrant green. In the early 19th century, several farmers from Georgia and the Carolinas settled in Hazel Green after discovering that the area had some of the richest soil in the Southeast. A post office was built in 1819 on the southeast corner of the intersection now known as Hwy. 231-431 & Joe Quick Road. Several grocers and rest stops were also built along this intersection. It became a bustling community and incorporated into a town on June 15, 1821 by an act of the state legislature with a population of approximately 400. At the time, Hazel Green was a small, rural community that served as a crossroads. Roads connected Hazel Green with Athens to the west, Winchester, TN to the east, Huntsville to the south, and Nashville to the north. These roads intersected at what is now known as the intersection of US Highway 231/431, Joe Quick Road, and West Limestone Road. The town eventually became unincorporated and despite recent growth, remains unincorporated to this day.
After several months of rumors and speculation, Walmart began construction of a Supercenter on the southwest corner of US Highway 231/431 and Charity Lane in June 2014. This brought attention to several local residents and media outlets, as Walmart typically does not build supercenters in unincorporated areas. After completion in March 2015, the store attracted several other businesses in the same vicinity, including multiple fast food restaurants and shopping centers. As of December 2016, Zaxby's, Burger King, Arby's, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Taco Bell, AT&T, Great Clips, Dollar Tree, Hibbett Sports, Verizon, and Pet Depot make up the list of new businesses in the area. Hazel Green is slated for continued residential and commercial growth in the upcoming years.
DPT School Hazel Green AL
Selecting the best physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However 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 DPT School. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following 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 proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Hazel Green AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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