How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Scottsboro 35768
Earning a physical therapy degree near Scottsboro AL is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Scottsboro AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Scottsboro AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in 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 emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Scottsboro AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Scottsboro AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Scottsboro AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 organizations for their reviews also. Call several Scottsboro AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Scottsboro AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both excellent 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ 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 Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Scottsboro AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Scottsboro health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Scottsboro AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Scottsboro AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Scottsboro Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Scottsboro AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert T. Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.
From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport, but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.
It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Scottsboro AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Scottsboro AL.
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