How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Shannon 35142
Getting a physical therapy degree near Shannon AL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Shannon AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Shannon AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage 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 entering the physical therapy field, 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 three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Shannon AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Shannon AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Shannon AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned 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 enroll in an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Shannon AL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It might 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest 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 assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Shannon AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each 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 fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Shannon AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Shannon health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Shannon AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Shannon AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Shannon Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Shannon AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The River Shannon (Irish: Abha na Sionainne, an tSionainn, an tSionna) is the longest river in Ireland at 360.5 km (224 miles). It drains the Shannon River Basin which has an area of 16,865 km2 (6,512 sq mi), one fifth of the area of Ireland.
The Shannon divides the west of Ireland (principally the province of Connacht) from the east and south (Leinster and most of Munster). County Clare, being west of the Shannon but part of the province of Munster, is the major exception. The river represents a major physical barrier between east and west, with fewer than thirty-five crossing-points between Limerick city in the south and the village of Dowra in the north.
The Shannon has been an important waterway since antiquity, having first been mapped by the Graeco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy. The river flows generally southwards from the Shannon Pot in County Cavan before turning west and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean through the 102.1 km (63.4 mi) long Shannon Estuary. Limerick city stands at the point where the river water meets the sea water of the estuary. The Shannon is tidal east of Limerick as far as the base of the Ardnacrusha dam.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Shannon AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Shannon AL.
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