How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Monroeville 36460
Earning a physical therapist degree near Monroeville AL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Monroeville AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Monroeville AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for 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 quite 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 Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Monroeville AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Monroeville AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Monroeville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing 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 Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Monroeville AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It might also be a good idea 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 couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Monroeville AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Monroeville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Monroeville health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Monroeville AL residence. Students who have decided 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Monroeville AL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Monroeville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Monroeville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
It is known as the hometown of two prominent writers of the post-World War II period, Truman Capote and Harper Lee, who were childhood friends in the 1930s. Lee's 1960 novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, earned her the Pulitzer Prize. The lasting fame of To Kill a Mockingbird became a tourist draw for the town. In 1997, the Alabama Legislature designated Monroeville and Monroe County as the "Literary Capital of Alabama."
The town was initially known as Walker's Mill and Store, named for Major Walker, the area's first white settler. In 1832, the county seat was relocated to Monroeville from Claiborne on the Alabama River. The settlement was briefly renamed "Centerville" due to its location in the center of the county, but then it was formally changed to Monroeville. The town was not formally incorporated until April 15, 1899.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.4 square miles (34.7 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (34.6 km2) is land and 0.0077 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.05%, is water.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Monroeville AL
Choosing the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Monroeville AL.
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