How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Tallassee 36078
Getting a physical therapist degree near Tallassee AL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with 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 practice in a variety of settings, such as Tallassee AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Tallassee AL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in 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 target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Tallassee AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so 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 close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Tallassee AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Tallassee AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Tallassee AL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Tallassee AL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Tallassee AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Tallassee health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Tallassee AL residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately 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 night or weekend classes in the Tallassee AL area, make certain 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Tallassee Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tallassee AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tallassee (pronounced /ˈtæːləsi/) is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census the population was 4,819. It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company.
The historic Creek peoples in this area are believed to have descended from the Mississippian culture, which flourished throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys and the Southeast from about 1000 to 1450. They were mound builders, who created massive earthwork mounds as structures for political and religious purposes. They relied greatly on fishing and riverway trading at their major sites (c.f. Moundville, Tuscaloosa).
Talisi was a town of the Coosa Province of the Mississippian culture; it was visited in 1540 by Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Southeast. Later it was occupied by the historic Creek people. The Tallassee area was the location of the Creek capital city, Tuckabatchee, as well as the location of the seven sacred plates.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Tallassee AL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Tallassee AL.
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