How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Pelham 35124
Earning a physical therapist degree near Pelham AL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate 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 choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Pelham AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Pelham AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Pelham AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Pelham AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Pelham AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the program 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 considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding 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 refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Pelham AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate 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 Pelham AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Pelham AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Pelham healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Pelham AL residence. Individuals who have decided 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office 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 qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pelham AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pelham Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pelham AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pelham is a city in Shelby County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in July 1964. At the 2000 census the population was 14,369, but has grown to 21,352 recorded by the 2010 census. It was named for Confederate American Civil War officer John Pelham.
As of the census of 2000, there were 14,369 people, 5,637 households, and 4,002 families residing in the city. The population density was 378.2 people per square mile (146.0/km²). There were 5,894 housing units at an average density of 155.1 per square mile (59.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.02% White, 3.97% Black or African American, 0.35% Native American, 1.68% Asian, 2.82% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 6.42% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 5,637 households out of which 35.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.05.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy School near Pelham AL
Selecting the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Pelham AL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 38