How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Lafayette 36862
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Lafayette AL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Lafayette AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Lafayette AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Lafayette AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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. A number of practicing 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 Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lafayette AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Lafayette AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Lafayette AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent 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 need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lafayette AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Lafayette AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Lafayette healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Lafayette 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 local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lafayette AL area, make sure 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lafayette Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lafayette AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
LaFayette (/ləˈfeɪ.ɛt, -ˈfaɪ-/ lə-F(A)Y-et, /ˈlʌfeɪ.ɛt/ LUF-ay-et) is the county seat of Chambers County, Alabama, United States, 47 miles (76 km) northwest of Columbus, Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 3,003.
Chambers County was formed in 1832. The newly elected county officials opted to locate the county seat as near as possible to the center of the county. Lots for the new town were auctioned in October 1833, with proceeds from the sale financing the construction of a courthouse and jail. The town was first called "Chambersville", but by the time of incorporation on January 7, 1835, the town name had been changed to "Lafayette", named after the Marquis de Lafayette; its spelling was changed to "LaFayette" due to the influence of newspaper editor Johnson J. Hooper, who created a fictional character called Captain Simon Suggs, a backwoods southerner who pronounced the town's name as "La Fait". The city's newspaper, The LaFayette Sun, was founded under the name The Alabama Standard in April 1841 and adopted its current name on August 3, 1881.
Lafayette is the birthplace of heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis. An 8-foot (2.4 m) bronze statue, executed by sculptor Casey Downing Jr. of Mobile, Alabama, was erected in Louis' honor in front of the Chambers County courthouse. It is also the hometown of Hoyt L. Sherman, one of artist Roy Lichtenstein's principal art professor/mentors at Ohio State University.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Lafayette AL
Picking the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize 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 options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Lafayette AL.
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