How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Troy 36079
Getting a physical therapy degree near Troy AL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Troy AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Troy AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Troy AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Troy AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Troy AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Troy AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Troy AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapy 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 completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Troy AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Troy health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Troy AL residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Troy AL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. 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 Troy Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Troy AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Between the years of 1763 and 1783, the area where Troy sits was part of the colony of British West Florida. After 1783 the region fell under the jurisdiction of the newly created United States of America.
As of the 2010 census, the population was 18,033. The 2016 estimated population was 19,191. The City of Troy is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama. Troy is a college town and is home to Troy University, the third-largest university in total enrollment in the state of Alabama.
For many centuries, the area in and around Troy was settled by different tribes of Native Americans, but became primarily known for its Muskogee Creek presence. Most Creek tribes lived along rivers or streams at that time. Near the Troy area, many Native Americans settled around the Conecuh River and the Pea River.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy School near Troy AL
Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Troy AL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Alabama