How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Alpine Alabama
Getting a physical therapy degree near Alpine AL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Alpine AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Alpine AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into 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 Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Alpine AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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. A number of 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 implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Alpine AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Alpine AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Alpine AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Alpine AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum 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 therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Alpine AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Alpine health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some 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 pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Alpine AL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish 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 Alpine 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Alpine Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Alpine AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
2018–19 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
The International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Ski World Cup is the premier circuit for alpine skiing competition. The inaugural season launched in January 1967, and the 2018–19 season marks the 53rd consecutive year for the FIS World Cup.
This season began in October 2018 in Sölden, Austria, and will conclude in mid-March 2019 at the finals in Soldeu, Andorra. The biennial World Championships will interrupt the tour in early February in Åre, Sweden.
Prior to the start of the season, 4-time overall World Cup champion (and 20-time crystal globe winner) Lindsey Vonn of the United States announced her retirement effective as of the end of the season.
Physical Therapist Education Requirements Alpine AL
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Education Requirements. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Alpine AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama