How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Course near Oxford Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Oxford AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in 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 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Oxford AL hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Oxford AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often 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 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Oxford AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required 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 four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Oxford AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools 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.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Oxford AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask 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 enroll in an online college, it may 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 just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Oxford AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oxford AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Oxford AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Oxford health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Oxford AL residence. Those who have opted 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. 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oxford AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Oxford Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oxford AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Oxford is a city in Calhoun and Talladega counties in the State of Alabama. The population was 21,348 at the 2010 census, an increase of 46.3% since the 2000 Census. Oxford is one of two principal cities of and included in the Anniston-Oxford Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Founded in the early 1850s, Oxford was the first city in Calhoun County to be incorporated, in 1852. The name "Oxford" was due to the presence of a narrow crossing of Chocolocco Creek that allowed farmers to ford cattle from one side of the creek to the other. Since 1970, Oxford has annexed large amounts of land to the south and west, including the communities of Coldwater and Bynum. In 1970, it was all in Calhoun County, but today it includes areas in Talladega County.
A smaller municipality, Hobson City, was once a part of Oxford. The area, then known as the Mooree Quarter, is one square mile, and is located north and west of Oxford, and south and west of Anniston. In the last years of the 19th century, according to tradition, in the course of political elections, a black man managed to be elected justice of the peace in Oxford. This being unacceptable to the city fathers, they appealed to the powers in the state capital, and an 'arrangement' was made. The city boundaries were redrawn, in similar fashion to a gerrymander, and the quarter was excluded, becoming a town unto itself. The new town became incorporated on August 16, 1899 as Hobson City, taking the name of a naval hero of the Spanish–American War. The intention was that the largely black population of this quarter would no longer skew the elections of the now almost exclusively white Oxford. Another result was the creation of only the second town in the United States (after Eatonville, Florida) with 100% black government, and an almost 100% black population (at least at first).
Physical Therapy Doctoral Programs Oxford AL
Picking the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Doctoral Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Oxford AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama