How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Rainsville 35986
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Rainsville AL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Rainsville AL private practices, hospitals, 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Rainsville AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Rainsville AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools 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 structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Rainsville AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Rainsville AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned 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 college, it can also earn 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, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Rainsville AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Rainsville AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Rainsville AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Rainsville medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Rainsville AL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rainsville AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rainsville Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rainsville AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Rainsville is a city in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,948, up from 4,499 in 2000. Rainsville is located on top of Sand Mountain, a southern extension of the Cumberland Plateau.
An EF5 tornado struck the city on April 27, 2011, leaving 25 fatalities. It initially touched down 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest in Lakeview, causing structural damage to small buildings and snapping trees. It grew in intensity, and the path width increased from around fifty yards to a half a mile, as the rotation entered the Rainsville and Sylvania communities. Damage included houses that were completely removed from foundations and debris scattered for about one mile, trees debarked, and a few mobile homes were destroyed with debris strewn for about a mile downstream. In Sylvania, some of these houses removed from foundations contained anchor bolts and foundation straps.
Rainsville is located northwest of the center of DeKalb County at 34°29′32″N 85°50′43″W / 34.49222°N 85.84528°W / 34.49222; -85.84528 (34.492258, -85.845316). It is bordered to the northeast by Sylvania, to the northwest by Powell, to the southwest by Shiloh, and to the southeast by Pine Ridge.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Rainsville AL
Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rainsville AL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alabama