How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Zebulon 27597
Earning a physical therapist degree near Zebulon NC is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college 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 considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Zebulon NC hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Zebulon NC medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Zebulon NC area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of 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 college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Zebulon NC home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Zebulon NC area and across North Carolina, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Zebulon NC physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the North Carolina Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out 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 assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Zebulon NC area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for North Carolina or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Zebulon NC hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Zebulon healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher 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 a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Zebulon NC home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining 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 program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Zebulon NC area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure 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 Zebulon North Carolina?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Zebulon NC area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Zebulon, North Carolina
Zebulon is the easternmost town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 4,433 at the 2010 census. Zebulon is part of the Research Triangle metropolitan region. Five County Stadium, home to the Carolina Mudcats minor league baseball team, is located in the town.
In 1906 the Raleigh and Pamlico Sound Railroad Company decided to bring the railroad through the Whitley and Horton family farms in eastern Wake County. Edgar B. Barbee and Falconer B. Arendell organized the Zebulon Company for development that same year. The company received its charter on February 15, 1906. Shortly thereafter, they began to divide up their 49 acres (20 ha) into lots, blocks, streets and avenues. On February 16, 1907, the town was officially recognized as Zebulon, North Carolina. The town was named after Zebulon Baird Vance, the Governor of North Carolina during the American Civil War. The first election was held in May 1907, and the first elected mayor was Thomas J. Horton.
In 1997 Zebulon annexed the neighboring community of Wakefield, increasing the total area inside the corporate limits to 2,115 acres (8.56 km2) and the population to 3,908. The population had grown to 4,433 by 2010.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Zebulon NC
Choosing the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Zebulon NC.
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