How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Eight Mile 36613
Earning a physical therapy degree near Eight Mile AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, 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 evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. 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 the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Eight Mile AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design 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. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Eight Mile AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Eight Mile AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become 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 GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Eight Mile AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Eight Mile AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Eight Mile AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Eight Mile AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Eight Mile AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Eight Mile medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Eight Mile 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 area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Eight Mile AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Eight Mile Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Eight Mile AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Eight Mile, Alabama
Eight Mile is an unincorporated community in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The community is named for its distance from the city of Mobile. Part of it was annexed in the mid-20th century by the city of Prichard, Alabama.
In 2008 lightning struck a mercaptan storage tank at a Mobile Gas Service Corp. underground natural gas pipeline at the Whistler Junction gas transfer facility within the Eight Mile community. An estimated 500 US gallons (1,900 l; 420 imp gal) of Mercaptan, the chemical odorant added to natural gas to help detect leaks, spilled into the soil and groundwater for 6 months, according to Alabama state environmental officials. It has migrated to ponds and surfaced, polluting the community's air.
Beginning in 2011, residents in Eight Mile began complaining of an overwhelming mercaptan odor and associated health problems. They have concerns about the damage to their health from the chemical, and to property values from its persistent rotten egg smell. They appealed for a state and federal investigation.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Eight Mile AL
Picking the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Eight Mile AL.
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