How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Hazel Green 35750
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Hazel Green AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. 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 work in diverse settings, such as Hazel Green AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hazel Green AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Hazel Green AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually 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 finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hazel Green AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Hazel Green AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for 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. Call a few Hazel Green AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hazel Green AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports 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 program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Hazel Green AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Hazel Green health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable 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 classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Hazel Green AL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 have 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hazel Green AL area, confirm 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, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hazel Green Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hazel Green AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hazel Green, Alabama
Hazel Green is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Madison County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Huntsville-Decatur Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the community was 3,630.
The town was named Hazel Green because of the hazel bushes along the road were of a vibrant green. In the early 19th century, several farmers from Georgia and the Carolinas settled in Hazel Green after discovering that the area had some of the richest soil in the Southeast. A post office was built in 1819 on the southeast corner of the intersection now known as Hwy. 231-431 & Joe Quick Road. Several grocers and rest stops were also built along this intersection. It became a bustling community and incorporated into a town on June 15, 1821 by an act of the state legislature with a population of approximately 400. At the time, Hazel Green was a small, rural community that served as a crossroads. Roads connected Hazel Green with Athens to the west, Winchester, TN to the east, Huntsville to the south, and Nashville to the north. These roads intersected at what is now known as the intersection of US Highway 231/431, Joe Quick Road, and West Limestone Road. The town eventually became unincorporated and despite recent growth, remains unincorporated to this day.
After several months of rumors and speculation, Walmart began construction of a Supercenter on the southwest corner of US Highway 231/431 and Charity Lane in June 2014. This brought attention to several local residents and media outlets, as Walmart typically does not build supercenters in unincorporated areas. After completion in March 2015, the store attracted several other businesses in the same vicinity, including multiple fast food restaurants and shopping centers. As of December 2016, Zaxby's, Burger King, Arby's, Papa Murphy's Pizza, Taco Bell, AT&T, Great Clips, Dollar Tree, Hibbett Sports, Verizon, and Pet Depot make up the list of new businesses in the area. Hazel Green is slated for continued residential and commercial growth in the upcoming years.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Hazel Green AL
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hazel Green AL.
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