How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Enterprise 36330
Getting a physical therapist degree near Enterprise AL is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be 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 important to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select 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 need to be considered 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Enterprise AL hospitals, health clinics, 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 mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Enterprise AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, 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 Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Enterprise AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Enterprise AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Enterprise AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Enterprise AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Enterprise AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Enterprise AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain 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 help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Enterprise health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Enterprise AL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry 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 choose 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Enterprise AL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Enterprise Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Enterprise AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Enterprise is a city in the southeastern part of Coffee County and the southwestern part of Dale County in the southeastern part of Alabama in the Southern United States. The population was 26,562 at the 2010 census. Enterprise is the primary city of the Enterprise Micropolitan Statistical Area (with the portion of the city located in Dale County part of the Ozark Micropolitan Statistical Area), and is also part of the Dothan-Enterprise-Ozark Combined Statistical Area.
Enterprise is famous for the Boll Weevil Monument, a large monument of a woman holding a boll weevil, which is located in the middle of Main Street. The city erected the statue because the destruction of the cotton crop by the boll weevil had led to agricultural diversity, starting with peanuts and more prosperity than had ever come from cotton alone. It is said to be the only statue to an insect pest in the world. Enterprise is right outside Fort Rucker, an Army base which is the home of Army Aviation.
The founder of Enterprise, John Henry Carmichael, first settled there in 1881. Carmichael opened a store, which attracted more settlers to the area, and by the next year a post office was relocated from the settlement of Drake Eye to the north to Enterprise. In 1896, with 250 people having settled there, the city of Enterprise incorporated. Soon afterward, the Alabama Midland Railway came to Enterprise, bringing with it opportunities for commerce and growth. By 1906, ten years after the city incorporated, its population had grown to 3,750.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Enterprise AL
Selecting the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Enterprise AL.
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