How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Union City 38261
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Union City TN is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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 the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Union City TN hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Union City TN health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise 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 considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly 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 degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Union City TN area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have 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 to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first 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 a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Union City TN residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, 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 Union City TN area and throughout Tennessee, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Union City TN physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Tennessee Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After 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 Union City TN area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Union City TN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Union City health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Union City TN home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Union City TN area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Union City Tennessee?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Union City TN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Union City, Tennessee
Union City is a city located in Obion County, Tennessee, United States. The 2010 census reported the population of the town as 10,895. Union City is the principal city of the surrounding micropolitan area, which includes Obion County and Fulton County, Kentucky.
Union City is recognized for the following: It was the site of a minor American Civil War battle in March 1864, and it was the site of a Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company/Goodyear Tire plant, which generated a large amount of the city's economy. It is also the hometown of both Congressman, John S. Tanner and Jerry L. Gurien, the inventor of stone washed jeans and Gurien Finishing Corp., which developed a process in the 1980s that stone-washed jeans and denims.
The Discovery Park of America serves as a major attraction in the state of Tennessee and is located within city limits. It was founded by Robert Kirkland and opened its doors in 2013. Union City is approximately 30–45 minutes from Reelfoot Lake. This well-known lake was formed from the 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes and is a popular recreational boating and fishing location in the state. Union City is also approximately 15–20 minutes from the University of Tennessee at Martin.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy College near Union City TN
Choosing the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Union City TN.
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