How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Guin 35563
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Guin AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated 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 appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Guin AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Guin AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become 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 short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Guin AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and usually 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Guin AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Guin AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose 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 choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Guin AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Guin AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose 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 every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Guin AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Guin healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Guin AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Guin AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Guin Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Guin AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Guin is a city in Marion County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville, AL Combined Statistical Area. It incorporated in December 1889. It is the birthplace of the band Scufflegrit. At the 2010 census the population was 2,376. On July 13, 2010, the citizens of Guin voted to become the first city in Marion County, since Prohibition, to allow the sale of alcohol.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,389 people, 1,027 households, and 666 families residing in the city. The population density was 191.5 people per square mile (74.0/km²). There were 1,168 housing units at an average density of 93.6 per square mile (36.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.69% White, 11.85% Black or African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.08% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.63% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,027 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.1% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.88.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist College near Guin AL
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Guin AL.
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