How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Course near Wedowee Alabama
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Wedowee AL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Wedowee 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Wedowee AL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one 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 preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Wedowee AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Wedowee AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Wedowee AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’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 a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Wedowee AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Wedowee AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential 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 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have relationships with Wedowee AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Wedowee health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Wedowee AL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wedowee AL area, check that they are offered. 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 enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Wedowee Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wedowee AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Wedowee is a town in Randolph County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 823, up from 818 in 2000. The small town is the county seat of Randolph County. It was initially incorporated in 1836, but its charter lapsed by the late 19th century. It was reincorporated in 1901.
Following Indian Removal of the Creek in the 1830s to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River by the US government, this area was settled by European Americans. The town of Wedowee was designated as the county seat of Randolph County in 1835. The county was developed for the cultivation of cotton as a commodity crop, with labor primarily done by enslaved African Americans, many of whom had been sold to the Deep South from the Upper South in the domestic slave trade.
Since the late 20th century, Lake Wedowee was created by the impoundment of the Tallapoosa River. This has enhanced the tourist drawing power of the town. Also known as the R. L. Harris Reservoir, the lake draws thousands of visitors to Wedowee every year. 
Education Needed For Physical Therapist Wedowee AL
Selecting the best physical therapy college 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 PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But 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 Education Needed For Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Wedowee AL.
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