How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Allgood 35013
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Allgood AL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Allgood AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Allgood AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering 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 three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Allgood 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Allgood AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Allgood AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 choose an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’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 agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Allgood AL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Allgood AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Allgood AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive 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 graduates and students establish professional connections in the Allgood healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Allgood AL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Allgood AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Allgood Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Allgood AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Allgood is located in south-central Blount County at 33°54′15″N 86°30′59″W / 33.90417°N 86.51639°W / 33.90417; -86.51639 (33.904216, -86.516428). It is in the Murphree Valley, with Straight Mountain to the southeast and Red Mountain and Sand Mountain to the northwest. Alabama State Route 75 passes through the town, leading northeast 3 miles (5 km) to Oneonta, the county seat, and southwest 38 miles (61 km) to Birmingham.
As of the census of 2000, there were 629 people, 189 households, and 140 families residing in the town. The population density was 606.6 people per square mile (233.5/km²). There were 198 housing units at an average density of 190.9 per square mile (73.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.94% White, 0.32% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 12.08% from other races, and 3.18% from two or more races. 43.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 189 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.33 and the average family size was 3.80.
Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Allgood AL
Choosing the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Allgood AL.
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Annually, the Iowa Physical Therapy Foundation presents the Olive C. Farr Scholarship Award for Physical Therapy for $500 to student members of the APTA who are currently pursuing a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree from an accredited institution in Iowa and have concluded the first year of the entry-level professional education program.
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