How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Red Bay 35582
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Red Bay AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Red Bay AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Red Bay AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often 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 three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Red Bay AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Red Bay AL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Red Bay AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Red Bay AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate 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 help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Red Bay AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Red Bay AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Red Bay health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Red Bay AL residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Red Bay AL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Red Bay Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Red Bay AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Red Bay, Alabama
Red Bay is a city in Franklin County, Alabama, United States. It was founded in 1907. The population was 3,158 at the 2010 census, down from 3,374 at the 2000 census. The town's name likely comes from its location amid a large stand of redbay trees at the time of its founding.
What is now Red Bay was originally known as "Vinson's Crossroads," and was initially located further to the southwest along Gum Creek. A branch of the Illinois Central Railroad was constructed through the area in 1907, and Red Bay developed into an important lumber and shipping center. The city incorporated during this same period.
The first school in Red Bay was located where the First United Methodist Church stands today. In 1903, this school had one faculty member who was responsible for teaching, as well as most of the custodial duties. After crops were harvested, students attended school through the remainder of the fall and winter months until the spring planting season.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Red Bay AL
Picking the best physical therapist college 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 DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Red Bay AL.
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