How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Childersburg 35044
Getting a physical therapist degree near Childersburg AL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Childersburg 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Childersburg AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several 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 getting into the physical therapy field, 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 Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Childersburg AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often 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 also must 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Childersburg AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Childersburg AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Childersburg AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Childersburg AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While 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 Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Childersburg AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Childersburg medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Childersburg AL residence. Students who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Childersburg AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Childersburg Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Childersburg AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Childersburg is a city in Talladega County in the U.S. state of Alabama. It was incorporated in 1889. At the 2010 census the population was 5,175. It claims a history dating back before 1540, when it was noted as a village of the Coosa Nation visited by the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, important during World War II, was located 4 miles (6 km) north of Childersburg.
Successive indigenous peoples had lived in the area for thousands of years. In the 16th century, people identified as part of the Kymulga-phase culture (of the larger Mississippian culture) lived at Talisi, the former site of Childersburg. In the fall of 1540, the Spanish Hernando de Soto expedition rested here for about one month during its exploration of the Southeast. Childersburg calls itself "The Oldest City in America". The Abihka people (part of those who became known as the Muskogee or Creek) dominated the area by the 18th century.
The Alabama Army Ammunition Plant, a munitions plant, was established in Childersburg in 1941 and operated throughout World War II until August 1945. Operated by DuPont, the plant produced explosives, such as nitrocellulose, trinitrotoluene (TNT), and dinitrotoluene (DNT). The plant also secretly produced heavy water to support the Manhattan Project. In 1940 the town had about five hundred people. Over fourteen thousand workers came to build and later operate the new facility.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Childersburg AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Childersburg AL.
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