How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Montrose 36559
Earning a physical therapist degree near Montrose AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Montrose AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop 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
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Montrose AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Montrose AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Montrose AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Montrose AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Montrose AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Montrose AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Montrose AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Montrose healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Montrose AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Montrose AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Montrose Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Montrose AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Montrose (/mɒnˈtroʊz/ mon-TROHZ, Scottish Gaelic: Monadh Rois) is a coastal resort town and former royal burgh in Angus, Scotland. It is situated 38 miles (61 kilometres) north of Dundee between the mouths of the North and South Esk rivers. It is the northernmost coastal town in Angus and developed at a natural harbour that traded in skins, hides and cured salmon in medieval times.
With a population of approximately 12,000, the town functions as a port, but the major employer is GlaxoSmithKline, which was saved from closure in 2006. The skyline of Montrose is dominated by the 220-foot (67 m) steeple of Old and St Andrew's Church, designed by James Gillespie Graham and built between 1832 and 1834.
Montrose is a town with a wealth of architecture, and is a centre for international trade. It is an important commercial port for the thriving oil and gas industry. It is known for its wide thoroughfare and high street which leads to picturesque closes containing secluded gardens. The town has a view of a 2 mi (3 km) square tidal lagoon, Montrose Basin, which is considered a nature reserve of international importance. It is the largest inland salt water basin in the UK, and an important habitat for the mute swan. Just outside Montrose is the 18th-century House of Dun, designed by the Scottish architect William Adam and built in 1730 for David Erskine, 13th Laird of Dun.
Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Montrose AL
Picking the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following 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 to become a licensed physical therapist in Montrose AL.
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