How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Pine Hill 36769
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Pine Hill AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Pine Hill 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 touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Pine Hill AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Pine Hill AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). 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 intregal component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pine Hill AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Pine Hill AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Pine Hill AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure 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 Pine Hill AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Pine Hill AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Pine Hill medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students 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 pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Pine Hill AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pine Hill AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pine Hill Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pine Hill AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pine Hill, Alabama
As of the census of 2000, there were 966 people, 391 households, and 272 families residing in the town. The population density was 249.2 people per square mile (96.1/km²). There were 443 housing units at an average density of 114.3 per square mile (44.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 49.90% Black or African American, 48.96% White, 0.72% Native American, 0.10% Asian, and 0.31% from two or more races. 0.10% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 391 households out of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.4% were married couples living together, 25.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.01.
In the town, the population was spread out with 30.8% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 24.1% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.6 males.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Pine Hill AL
Selecting the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pine Hill AL.
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