How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Hayneville 36040
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Hayneville AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Hayneville AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Hayneville AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Hayneville AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable 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 mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hayneville AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Hayneville AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Hayneville AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hayneville AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Hayneville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Hayneville healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Hayneville AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hayneville AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hayneville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hayneville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hayneville is a town in Lowndes County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 932, down from its record high of 1,177 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Lowndes County. It is also part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area. It initially incorporated in 1831, but lapsed, finally reincorporating in 1967. Before 1970, the town appeared only twice on the U.S. Census: in 1850 and 1890. The 1850 estimate of 800 residents ranked it as the largest town in the county at the time.
Located in the fertile Black Belt region, Hayneville was the county seat in a slave society based on cotton production. The town was later a railway terminus and home to the Hayneville Railway Company, which was organized in 1903. Two years later, the company was reorganized as the Hayneville & Montgomery Railroad Company and provided connections for shipping with the L&N Railroad Company's tracks.
During the early part of the 20th century, the boll weevil invaded the South, destroying cotton crops across the most productive counties. At the same time, In the latter half of the 20th century, the agricultural focus shifted to more diverse crops and livestock. Hayneville, like the rest of the Black Belt, has struggled to shift to a more productive economy.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Hayneville AL
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active 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 supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Hayneville AL.
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