How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Talladega 35160
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Talladega AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Talladega AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Talladega AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Talladega AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Talladega AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Talladega AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Talladega AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Talladega AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Talladega AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Talladega health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Talladega AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble 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 might have 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is offered. 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 eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Talladega AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Talladega Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Talladega AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Talladega /ˌtæləˈdɪɡə/ is a city in Talladega County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1835. At the 2010 census the population was 15,676. The city is the county seat of Talladega County. Talladega is approximately 50 miles (80 km) east of Birmingham.
The city is home to the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and the Talladega Municipal Airport, a public general aviation airport. The Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega College and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame are located nearby. The First National Bank of Talladega is the oldest bank in the State of Alabama, being founded in 1848.
The name Talladega is derived from a Muscogee (Creek) Native American word Tvlvtēke, from the Creek tvlwv, meaning "town", and vtēke, meaning "border" – indicating its location on the border between the Creeks and the Natchez. While the town's name is pronounced /ˌtæləˈdɪɡə/ by local inhabitants, the racetrack's name is pronounced /ˌtæləˈdeɪɡə/ by auto racing fans.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Talladega AL
Picking the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Talladega AL.
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