How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Millport Alabama
Getting a physical therapy degree near Millport AL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select 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 besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Millport AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Millport AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Millport AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so 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 school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Millport AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures 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 alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Millport AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Millport 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 options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Millport AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Millport AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Millport medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Millport AL home. Those who have decided 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Millport 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Millport Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Millport AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Millport is a town in Lamar County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1887. At the 2010 census the population was 1,049, down from 1,160 in 2000. After its incorporation from 1890-1900, it was the largest town in Lamar County, losing the distinction to Sulligent. Since 1940, it has been the 3rd largest town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,160 people, 495 households, and 328 families residing in the town. The population density was 213.7 people per square mile (82.5/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 103.3 per square mile (39.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 65.52% White, 33.97% Black, 0.09% Native American, and 0.43% from two or more races.
There were 495 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 16.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.7% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.96.
Online Physical Therapy Degree Millport AL
Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school 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 Online Physical Therapy Degree. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college 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 options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Millport AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama