How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Hayden 35079
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Hayden AL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Hayden AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hayden AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Hayden AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually 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 also must 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 seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college 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 Hayden AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Hayden AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Hayden AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest 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 placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hayden 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 excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Hayden AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Hayden healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Hayden AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hayden AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn 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 Hayden Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hayden AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hayden is located in southwestern Blount County at 33°53'36.236" North, 86°45'25.139" West (33.893399, -86.756983). Hayden Mountain is a broad, low ridge that rises to the northwest above the town. Alabama State Route 160 passes through the center of the town, leading 5 miles (8 km) southwest to Interstate 65 north of Warrior, and northeast 13 miles (21 km) to Cleveland.
At the 2000 census, there were 470 people, 191 households and 136 families residing in the town. The population density was 499.1 per square mile (193.1/km²). There were 207 housing units at an average density of 219.8 per square mile (85.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.91% White, 6.60% Black or African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.43% Asian, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 191 households of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.98.
Select the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Hayden AL
Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Hayden AL.
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