How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Cowarts 36321
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Cowarts AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Cowarts AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, 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 requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Cowarts AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Cowarts AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cowarts AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Cowarts AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Cowarts AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might 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 support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cowarts AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Cowarts AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Cowarts healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Cowarts AL home. 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? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide 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 last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cowarts AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cowarts Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cowarts AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cowarts is a town in Houston County, Alabama, United States. The town incorporated in August 1961. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. At the 2010 census the population was 1,871, up from 1,546 in 2000.
Cowarts is located in north-central Houston County at 31°11′58″N 85°18′23″W / 31.19944°N 85.30639°W / 31.19944; -85.30639 (31.199575, -85.306272). It is bordered to the north and west by the city of Dothan and to the southeast by the town of Avon. A small part of the northern border of Cowarts is with the town of Webb.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,546 people, 603 households, and 469 families residing in the town. The population density was 213.6 people per square mile (82.4/km2). There were 684 housing units at an average density of 94.5 per square mile (36.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 84.93% White, 12.35% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Cowarts AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But 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, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize 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 right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cowarts AL.
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