How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Wadley 36276
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Wadley AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college 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 considered along with 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Wadley AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Wadley AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
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 offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Wadley AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance 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 most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wadley AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Wadley AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting 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. Call a few Wadley AL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure 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 Wadley AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both excellent training and a course of study 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 therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Wadley AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Wadley healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable 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 monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Wadley AL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wadley AL area, confirm that they are offered. 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, find out what the protocol 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 Wadley Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wadley AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Wadley is a town in Randolph County, Alabama, United States. It is home to the Wadley campus of Southern Union State Community College. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 751, up from 640 in 2000. According to the 1910 U.S. Census, the town was incorporated in 1908.
As of the census of 2000, there were 640 people, 228 households, and 149 families residing in the town. The population density was 463.7 people per square mile (179.1/km²). There were 276 housing units at an average density of 200.0 per square mile (77.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 65.16% White, 33.28% Black or African American, 1.09% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 228 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.91.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Wadley AL
Choosing the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Wadley AL.
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