How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program near Rutledge Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Rutledge AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Rutledge AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent 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
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Rutledge AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Rutledge AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rutledge AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Rutledge AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Rutledge AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Rutledge AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential 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 practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Rutledge AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Rutledge healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Rutledge AL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring 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 you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Rutledge AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Rutledge Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rutledge AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Rutledge is located at the geographic center of Crenshaw County at 31°43′59″N 86°18′35″W / 31.73306°N 86.30972°W / 31.73306; -86.30972 (31.733103, -86.309619). The city of Luverne, the Crenshaw County seat, lies along Rutledge's eastern border.
Rutledge began as Barber's Crossroads. It was originally settled by Jared Phelps Barber. The town was briefly named Crenshaw, but on June 10, 1867, it was changed to Rutledge in honor of Captain Henry Rutledge, Company H. 59th Alabama Infantry, CSA. Rutledge was the first county seat of Crenshaw County and held that position from March 1867 to May 1893. It was incorporated in 1871.
As of the census of 2000, there were 476 people, 201 households, and 127 families residing in the town. The population density was 143.4 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 264 housing units at an average density of 79.5 per square mile (30.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 71.01% White, 28.36% Black or African American, and 0.63% from two or more races.
Physical Therapy Undergraduate Rutledge AL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Undergraduate. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Rutledge AL.
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