How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Notasulga 36866
Getting a physical therapist degree near Notasulga AL is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Notasulga AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Notasulga AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Notasulga AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before 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 therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Notasulga AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Notasulga AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Notasulga AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. 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 filed 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 all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Notasulga AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Notasulga AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Notasulga medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Notasulga AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Notasulga AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure 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 Notasulga Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Notasulga AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Notasulga is a town in Lee and Macon counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 965, up from 916 in 2000. The portion in Lee County is part of the Auburn Metropolitan Area. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, it incorporated in 1893. Author Zora Neale Hurston was born in Notasulga in 1891.
As of the census of 2000, there were 916 people, 393 households, and 260 families residing in the town. The population density was 65.9 people per square mile (25.4/km²). There were 446 housing units at an average density of 32.1 per square mile (12.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 66.27% White, 32.42% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.55% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. 0.76% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 393 households out of which 26.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.6% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.87.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Notasulga AL
Picking the right physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Notasulga AL.
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