How to Select the Right Physical Therapy School near Pennington Alabama
Earning a physical therapist degree near Pennington AL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Pennington AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems 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
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Pennington AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, 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 preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Pennington AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pennington AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Pennington AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting 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 as well. Call some Pennington AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pennington AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have associations with Pennington AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Pennington 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 far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Pennington 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pennington AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Pennington Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pennington AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
As of the census of 2000, there were 353 people, 142 households, and 103 families residing in the town. The population density was 188.6 people per square mile (72.9/km²). There were 197 housing units at an average density of 105.3 per square mile (40.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 64.31% White, 34.84% Black or African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.57% from other races.
There were 142 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 26.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.6% under the age of 18, 6.5% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.
Physical Therapy Aide Program Pennington AL
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Aide Program. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses 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 additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Pennington AL.
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