How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near New Brockton 36351
Receiving a physical therapy degree near New Brockton AL is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as New Brockton AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other New Brockton AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the New Brockton AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. 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 requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure 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 segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s New Brockton AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the type 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 since there are numerous PT colleges within the New Brockton AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 receive 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, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 as well. Contact a few New Brockton AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact 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 Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the New Brockton AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required 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, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with New Brockton AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the New Brockton healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their New Brockton AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the New Brockton AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near New Brockton Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the New Brockton AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
New Brockton, Alabama
New Brockton is located east of the center of Coffee County at 31°22′52″N 85°55′28″W / 31.38111°N 85.92444°W / 31.38111; -85.92444 (31.381138, -85.924339). The city of Enterprise is directly to the southeast.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,146 people, 469 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 143 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 70.1 per square mile (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.1% White, 21.0% Black or African American, 5.5% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 469 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
Select the Best Physical Therapist College near New Brockton AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in New Brockton AL.
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