How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Lincoln 35096
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Lincoln AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Lincoln AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have 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 often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Lincoln AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Lincoln AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college 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 Lincoln AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Lincoln AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 program, it may also receive 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. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Lincoln AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice 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 filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lincoln AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Lincoln AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Lincoln health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Lincoln AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lincoln AL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lincoln Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lincoln AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Albert Lincoln Roker Jr. (born August 20, 1954) is an American weather forecaster, journalist, television personality, actor, and author. He is the current weather anchor on NBC's Today. Roker also appears occasionally as a co-anchor on NBC Nightly News. He has an inactive American Meteorological Society Television Seal #238.
On November 12, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Roker attempted to beat the unofficial world record for an uninterrupted live weather report of 33 hours held by Norwegian weather broadcaster Eli Kari Gjengedal. On November 14, 2014, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Roker set the Guinness World Record by reporting for 34 hours. On the December 14, 2018 episode of the Today Show, Al Roker was honored for 40 years at NBC. The Today Show Plaza was officially named the Rokerfeller Plaza in his honor .
Al Roker was born in Queens, New York, the son of Isabel, of Jamaican descent, and Albert Lincoln Roker Sr., a bus driver of Bahamian descent. Roker initially wanted to be a cartoonist. He was raised Catholic (in the faith of his mother) and graduated from Xavier High School in Manhattan. He worked on several projects as a member of the school's Cartooning & Illustration Club. He attended the State University of New York at Oswego where he received a B.A. in communications in 1976.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Lincoln AL
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Lincoln AL.
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