How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Daphne 36526
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Daphne AL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Daphne 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Daphne AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as 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 brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Daphne AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing 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 instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Daphne AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenses 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 ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Daphne AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing 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 College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Daphne AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Daphne AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Daphne AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Daphne healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Daphne AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Daphne AL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Daphne Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Daphne AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Daphne (/ˈdæfniː/) is a city in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States, on the eastern shoreline of Mobile Bay. The city is located along I-10, 11 miles east of Mobile and 170 miles southwest of the state capital of Montgomery. The 2010 United States Census lists the population of the city as 21,570, making Daphne the most populous city in Baldwin County. It is a principal city of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley metropolitan area, which includes all of Baldwin County.
The inhabited history of what is now called Daphne dates at least to the Paleo-Indian period and Native American tribes around 9000 BC. Modern-day Daphne is a thriving suburb of nearby Mobile. Daphne has adopted the nickname ″The Jubilee City″ in recognition of its status as one of the locations of the Mobile Bay jubilee. The only other place jubilees occur is in Tokyo Bay.
Daphne and the surrounding regions have been populated since from at least 9,000 BCE. European settlers eventually displaced the Native Americans. After a variety of wars and treaties the area became part of the United States in 1814. Except for a period under the flag of the Confederate States of America, Daphne and its environs have remained part of the United States until this time. From Native American, to the Spanish, French and British, the city has seen a lengthy parade of historic influences which gives Daphne its present character.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Daphne AL
Choosing the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Daphne AL.
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