How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Newton 36352
Getting a physical therapist degree near Newton AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones 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 enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Newton AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Newton AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Newton AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually include 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable 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 Schools Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Newton AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Newton AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Newton AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Newton AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Newton AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Newton healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Newton AL home. Students who have chosen 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. Something 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Newton AL area, make certain 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Newton Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Newton AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cameron Jerrell Newton (born May 11, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Auburn and was drafted as the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton is the only player in the modern era to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft within a one-year span. He was the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year, is a three-time Pro Bowler, and was named the NFL MVP in 2015.
In his rookie year, Newton broke all-time NFL rookie records for passing and rushing yards. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game, shattering Peyton Manning's first-game record by 120 yards. He also broke Otto Graham's 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut. Newton went on to become the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. He also ran for 14 touchdowns, more in a single season than any quarterback in NFL history, breaking Steve Grogan's 35-year-old record.
In 2015, Newton became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and rush for 10 in the same season (35 passing, 10 rushing). He also became the only quarterback ever to have 300 yards passing, 5 touchdown passes, and over 100 yards rushing in the same game. Newton capped off the 2015 season by capturing MVP honors and leading the Panthers to a 15–1 record and a trip to Super Bowl 50.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Newton AL
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Newton AL.
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