How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Moulton Alabama
Getting a physical therapy degree near Moulton AL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated 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 must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Moulton AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues 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:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Moulton AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Moulton AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Moulton AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Moulton AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy 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 a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Moulton AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy 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 teachers, or both. Once 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 Moulton 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 excellent. It also affirms 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 imperative that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Moulton AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Moulton medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Moulton AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Moulton AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Moulton Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Moulton AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Moulton is a city in Lawrence County, Alabama, United States and is included in the Decatur Metropolitan Area, as well as the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. Although it incorporated in 1819, along with its rival of Courtland, to compete for the honor of county seat, it did not first appear on the U.S. Census rolls until 1900. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 3,471, its record high. The city has been the county seat of Lawrence County since 1820. It has been the largest community in the county since the 1920 U.S. Census.
By the time Alabama became a state in 1819, an inn had been erected at the site of what is now Moulton to serve migrants along the various early paths that passed through the area. Shortly after Alabama achieved statehood, both Moulton and Courtland (to the north) incorporated and competed for the county seat of Lawrence County. Governor Thomas Bibb awarded the seat to Moulton as the most centrally located of the two within the county. The city is named for Lieutenant Michael Moulton, a soldier killed while fighting under General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.
Moulton is located at 34°28′56″N 87°17′8″W / 34.48222°N 87.28556°W / 34.48222; -87.28556 (34.482307, -87.285621). The city is concentrated along Alabama State Route 33 southwest of Decatur. Alabama State Route 24 passes through the northern part of the city, and Alabama State Route 157 passes through its eastern section. The William B. Bankhead National Forest lies to the southwest of Moulton.
Cost Of Physical Therapy School Moulton AL
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Cost Of Physical Therapy School. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Moulton AL.
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