How to Select the Right Physical Therapy College near Lillian Alabama
Getting a physical therapist degree near Lillian AL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally 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, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Lillian AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Lillian AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee 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 profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Lillian AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lillian AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Lillian AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy 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 receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose 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 refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Lillian AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lillian AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study 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 school. While licensing requirements differ 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 additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Lillian AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Lillian healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Lillian AL home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lillian AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Lillian Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lillian AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Lillian is an unincorporated community in eastern Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. Lillian is located on U.S. Route 98 on the western shore of Perdido Bay, 9.5 miles (15.3 km) east of Elberta.
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Near Me Lillian AL
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Schools Near Me. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Lillian AL.
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