Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Hodges AL

How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Hodges 35571

Hodges AL physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Hodges AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Hodges AL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Hodges AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Hodges AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Hodges AL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Hodges AL area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Hodges ALWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hodges AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many 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 dedicated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Hodges AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Hodges AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program 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 useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hodges AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both superior 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Hodges AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Hodges health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Hodges AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose 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 evening or weekend classes in the Hodges AL area, verify 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hodges Alabama?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hodges AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Al Hodge

Albert E. Hodge (April 18, 1912 – March 19, 1979) was an American actor best known for playing space adventurer Captain Video on the DuMont Television Network from December 15, 1950, to April 1, 1955. He played the Green Hornet on radio from January 1936 until January 1943.

Hodge was born in Ravenna, Ohio. His parents operated a tailoring and dry-cleaning business. Hodge acted and took part in sports at Ravenna High School. Nicknamed "Abie", he was a track star, a drum major and manager of the band, sang bass in the boys glee club and was a cheerleader.

Hodge graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1934, majoring in drama. After touring as an actor with the Casford Players, he was hired by WXYZ in Detroit, Michigan. Besides originating the role of Britt Reid, the Green Hornet, Hodge wrote and delivered daily editorials, announced at football games, wrote advertising copy, worked as a disc jockey, and produced radio dramas and documentaries, including The Lone Ranger and Challenge of the Yukon. He served in the United States Navy during World War II, and was bedridden for a year with pleurisy.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Hodges AL

Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Hodges AL.

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