How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Greensboro 36744
Getting a physical therapy degree near Greensboro AL is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 settings, including Greensboro AL private practices, hospitals, 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 touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Greensboro AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering 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 Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Greensboro AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. 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 education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so 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 near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Greensboro AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Greensboro AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Greensboro AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Greensboro AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Greensboro AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Greensboro medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Greensboro AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Greensboro AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Greensboro Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Greensboro AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Greensboro is a city in Hale County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,497, down from 2,731 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Hale County, Alabama, which was not organized until 1867. It is part of the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Greensboro was incorporated as a town in December 1823 as "Greensborough". It was named in honor of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene. The name was soon simplified to "Greensboro". The community was known as "Troy" prior to incorporation.
Reflecting the history of the antebellum years and a culture built on cotton plantations to produce the commodity crop, several sites on the National Register of Historic Places in or near Greensboro are connected to this past. These include Glencairn, the Greensboro Historic District, Magnolia Grove, the McGehee-Stringfellow House, Millwood, and the Payne House.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Greensboro AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Greensboro AL.
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