How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near New Market 35761
Earning a physical therapy degree near New Market AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must 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?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as New Market AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share 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 in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other New Market AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly 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 degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the New Market AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s New Market AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses 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 ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the New Market AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 college, 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, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’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 as well. Call a few New Market AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left 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 New Market AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program 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 practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with New Market AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the New Market medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their New Market AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 bear 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the New Market AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out 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 New Market Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the New Market AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
New Market, Alabama
New Market is a 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 CDP is 1,597. Although it was the first area settled in Madison County, the town has never been incorporated.
In the early 19th century, several persons from Tennessee explored the area just across the border in what eventually became Madison County in Alabama. Isaac and Joseph Criner also explored the area and, in 1804, settled in the northern part near what is now called Mountain Fork of the Flint River. George Smith, landowner of town site, built first log house and established a mercantile business in 1814. John Miller excavated millrace, erected gristmill and sawmill in 1819. Later settlers gave the name New Market to the community.
Four sites in New Market are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the New Market Historic District, New Market Presbyterian Church, New Market United Methodist Church, and the Whitman-Cobb House.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near New Market AL
Deciding on the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in New Market AL.
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