How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Boaz 35956
Earning a physical therapist degree near Boaz AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Boaz AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Boaz AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Boaz AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of 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 Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Boaz AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Boaz AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 enroll in an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Boaz AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Boaz AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Boaz AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Boaz medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Boaz AL home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program 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 therapy school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Boaz AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Boaz Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Boaz AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Boaz is a city in Etowah and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It is part of the Gadsden, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 9,551. Boaz is known mainly for its outlet shops.
First settled in the 1850s, the town of Boaz was officially founded November 11, 1878 by the Sparks Family of Georgia. A post office has been in operation since 1887. The city was named after Boaz, from the Hebrew Bible. It was incorporated in 1897.
Boaz is located in southeastern Marshall County at 34°12′10″N 86°9′38″W / 34.20278°N 86.16056°W / 34.20278; -86.16056 (34.202793, −86.160457), and extends south into Etowah County. It is bordered to the north by Albertville and to the southeast by Sardis City. U.S. Route 431 passes through the east side of the city, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Albertville and southeast 20 miles (32 km) to Gadsden. Boaz is located on top of Sand Mountain (a plateau), at an elevation of 1,080 feet (330 m) above sea level.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy College near Boaz AL
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Boaz AL.
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