How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near Ragland 35131
Earning a physical therapist degree near Ragland AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate 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 the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Ragland AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Ragland AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Ragland AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed 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 instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college 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 Ragland AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Ragland AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Ragland AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Ragland AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Ragland AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Ragland health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Ragland AL residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Ragland AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ragland Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ragland AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Reggie Keith Ragland Jr. (born September 23, 1993) is an American football linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at the University of Alabama and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
A native of Madison, Alabama, Ragland attended Bob Jones High School, where he was a varsity player in both football and basketball. As a sophomore, he played small forward on a basketball team that upset No. 1 Homewood to win the 2009–2010 AHSAA Class 6A Championship, with Levi Randolph being named MVP. Meanwhile, on the football field Ragland had 40 receptions as a tight end and six touchdowns. Mostly playing defense as a junior, he recorded 91 tackles in 2010 with 21 tackles-for-loss. Bob Jones went 8–4 over the season, losing 21–28 to Clay-Chalkville in the first round of the 6A playoffs. In his senior season, Ragland was credited with 97 tackles with 22 tackles-for-loss and six sacks. The Patriots allowed only 13 points per game and were 10–2 on the season, losing to the eventual 6A state runner-up Hoover in the second round of the playoffs. Ragland was also on the Patriots track & field team, where he competed in the discus throw and the shot put.
Regarded as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Ragland was listed as the No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in his class. Shortly after his junior season, he committed to Alabama over Auburn, Florida, and Tennessee.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Ragland AL
Picking the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Ragland AL.
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