How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Ashford 36312
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Ashford AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating 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 thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Ashford AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate 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
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Ashford AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Ashford AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some 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 can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Ashford AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Ashford AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Ashford AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Ashford AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Ashford AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Ashford healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher 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 a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Ashford AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Ashford AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ashford Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ashford AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Ashford is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. The town was incorporated in June 1891. For most of its history, it was a center for naval stores production, pulpwood harvesting, and cotton agriculture. The population was 2,148 at the 2010 census, up from 1,853 at the 2000 census.
Ashford is located slightly northeast of the center of Houston County at 31°11′3″N 85°14′7″W / 31.18417°N 85.23528°W / 31.18417; -85.23528 (31.184032, -85.235286).U.S. Route 84 passes through the southern part of the town, leading west 9 miles (14 km) to Dothan and southeast 24 miles (39 km) to Donalsonville, Georgia. The Chattahoochee River, which forms the Georgia state line, is 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Ashford on US 84.
Ashford's former mayor is Jonathon Grecu, he resigned from office on December 31, 2017. On January 8, 2018 Carole Barfield took office. As of October 2018, the current mayor is Carole Barfield, and City Council members are Gary Gibson, Ronnie Whitehead, Alan Anderson, James Smith, and Denise Herndon. The recreation director for the City of Ashford is Louis Edmondson. The City Clerk is currently open for employment.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Ashford AL
Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Ashford AL.
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