How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Tuskegee 36083
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Tuskegee AL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Tuskegee AL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Tuskegee AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Tuskegee AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students 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. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many 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 integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Tuskegee AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Tuskegee AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Tuskegee AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. 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 filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Tuskegee AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports 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 therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Tuskegee AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Tuskegee healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Tuskegee AL home. Those who have chosen 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 importance. 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tuskegee AL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Tuskegee Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tuskegee AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tuskegee (/tʌsˈkiːɡiː/) is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Simpson Woodward, a Creek War veteran under Andrew Jackson, and made the county seat that year. It was incorporated in 1843. It is also the largest city in Macon County. At the 2010 census the population was 9,865, down from 11,846 in 2000.
Tuskegee has been an important site in African-American history and highly influential in United States history since the 19th century. Before the American Civil War, the area was largely used as a cotton plantation, dependent on African-American slave labor. After the war, many freedmen continued to work on plantations in the rural area, which was devoted to agriculture. In 1881 the Tuskegee Normal School (now Tuskegee University, a historically black college) was founded by Lewis Adams, a former slave whose father, Jesse Adams, a slave owner, allowed him to be educated, and its first, founding principal was, Booker T. Washington who developed a national reputation and philanthropic network to support education of freedmen and their children.
In 1923, the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center was established here, initially for the estimated 300,000 African-American veterans of World War I in the South, when public facilities were racially segregated. Twenty-seven buildings were constructed on the 464-acre campus.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Tuskegee AL
Deciding on the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. 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 other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Tuskegee AL.
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