How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Eutaw 35462
Earning a physical therapist degree near Eutaw AL is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to 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 cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Eutaw AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Eutaw AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Eutaw AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually incorporate 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Eutaw AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Eutaw AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online school, it can also receive 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. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to 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 College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Eutaw AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Eutaw AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Eutaw AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Eutaw 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 way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Eutaw AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eutaw AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Eutaw Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Eutaw AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Eutaw (/ˈjuːtɔː/ YEW-taw) is a city in and the county seat of Greene County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 2,934. The city was named in honor of the Battle of Eutaw Springs, the last engagement of the American Revolutionary War in the Carolinas.
Eutaw was laid out in December 1838 at the time that Greene County voters chose to relocate the county seat from Erie, which was located on the Black Warrior River. It was incorporated by an act of the state legislature on January 2, 1841.
As the county seat, it also developed as the trading center for the county, which developed an economy based on cultivation and processing of cotton, the chief commodity crop in the antebellum years. The crop was lucrative for major planters, who depended on the labor of enslaved African Americans, and they built a number of fine homes in the city.
Select the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Eutaw AL
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Eutaw AL.
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