How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist School near Dauphin Island Alabama
Earning a physical therapy degree near Dauphin Island AL is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Dauphin Island AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Dauphin Island AL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely 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 three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Dauphin Island AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dauphin Island AL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Dauphin Island AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Dauphin Island AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dauphin Island AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Dauphin Island AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Dauphin Island health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want 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 average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Dauphin Island AL home. Individuals 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dauphin Island AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Dauphin Island Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dauphin Island AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Dauphin Island, Alabama
Dauphin Island is a town in Mobile County, Alabama, United States, on a barrier island of the same name (split by the Katrina Cut), at the Gulf of Mexico. It incorporated in 1988. The population was 1,238 at the 2010 census. The town is included in the Mobile metropolitan area. The island (originally named "Massacre Island") was renamed for Louis XIV of France's great-grandson and heir, the dauphin, the future Louis XV of France. The name of the island is often mistaken as "Dolphin Island"; dauphin means Prince or Oldest Son of the King in French.
The Gulf of Mexico is to the south of the island; the Mississippi Sound and Mobile Bay are to the north. The island's eastern end helps define the mouth of Mobile Bay. The eastern, wider portion of the island is shaded by thick stands of pine trees and saw palmettos, but the narrow, western part of the island features scrub growth and few trees.
Dauphin Island is home to Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, The Estuarium public aquarium, the Dauphin Island Airport, boat ramps, a large public pier (that sits on dry land), historic sites, several restaurants, new condominium developments, and numerous private homes. Beaches attract tourism, and fishing is a popular activity in the waters around the island. The island is connected to the mainland by the Gordon Persons Bridge.
Physical Therapy School Prerequisites Dauphin Island AL
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy School Prerequisites. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Dauphin Island AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
Business Results 1 - 10 of 7