How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Auburn University 36849
Earning a physical therapy degree near Auburn University AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Auburn University AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Auburn University AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Auburn University AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 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 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Auburn University AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Auburn University AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Auburn University AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Auburn University AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Auburn University AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Auburn University healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost 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 therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Auburn University AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Auburn University AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Auburn University Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Auburn University AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Auburn University (AU or Auburn) is a public research and Land-grant university in Auburn, Alabama. With more than 23,000 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 30,000 with 1,260 faculty members, Auburn is the second largest university in Alabama. It is one of the state's two public flagship universities.
Auburn was chartered on February 1, 1856, as East Alabama Male College, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, it became the state's first public land-grant university and was renamed as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1892, it became the first four-year coeducational school in Alabama, and in 1899 was renamed Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) to reflect its changing mission. In 1960, its name was changed to Auburn University to acknowledge the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university.
The Alabama Legislature chartered the institution as the East Alabama Male College on February 1, 1856, coming under the guidance of the Methodist Church in 1859. Its first president was Reverend William J. Sasnett, and the school opened its doors in 1859 to a student body of eighty and a faculty of ten.
Select the Best Physical Therapist School near Auburn University AL
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Auburn University AL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4