How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Munford Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Munford AL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated 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 obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Munford AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. 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 suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Munford AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Munford AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Munford AL home. 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 alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Munford AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Munford AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight 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 schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Munford AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Munford AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Munford health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical 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 speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Munford AL home. Those who have decided 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Munford AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Munford Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Munford AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Munford is a town in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,292. It is the location of what has been called the last battle of the Civil War east of the Mississippi, the Battle of Munford on April 23, 1865, being one week after the Battle of Columbus (April 16, 1865) in Georgia.
Munford was initially incorporated in 1873. At some point in the 1880s, it either disincorporated or lost its charter. In 2000, Munford was classified as a census-designated place (CDP), and in 2002 formally incorporated again.
As of the census of 2010 there were 1,292 people, 492 households, and 355 families residing in the town. The population density was 587.3 people per square mile (226.7/km²). There were 554 housing units at an average density of 251.8 per square mile (97.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 82.4% White, 15.6% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.1% some other race, and 1.3% from two or more races. 1.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Physical Therapy Assistant Courses Munford AL
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Courses. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Munford AL.
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