How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Program near Eufaula Alabama
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Eufaula AL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Eufaula AL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier 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 patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Eufaula AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become 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 summaries of degree levels that are available in the Eufaula AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding 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 Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Eufaula AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Eufaula AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential 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 organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as 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 pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Eufaula AL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Eufaula AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Eufaula AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Eufaula medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical 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 a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Eufaula AL home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eufaula AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Eufaula Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Eufaula AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
The site along the Chattahoochee River that is now modern-day Eufaula was occupied by three Creek tribes, including the Eufaulas.:3 By the 1820s the land was part of the Creek Indian Territory and supposedly off-limits to white settlement.:4 By 1827 enough illegal white settlement had occurred that the Creeks appealed to the federal government for protection of their property rights. In July of that year, federal troops were sent to the Eufaula area to remove the settlers by force of arms, a conflict known as the "Intruders War".:4
The Creeks signed the Treaty of Washington in 1826, ceding most of their land in Georgia and eastern Alabama to the United States, but it was not fully effective in practice until the late 1820s. The 1832 Treaty of Cusseta, by which the Creeks ceded all land east of the Mississippi River to the United States, allowed white settlers to legally buy land from the Creek. However, the treaty's terms did not require any natives to relocate. By 1835 the land on which the town was built had been mostly purchased by white settlers, and had a store, owned in part by William Irwin, after whom the new settlement was named "Irwinton".:5
Significant numbers of Jewish settlers came to Eufaula in the middle of the nineteenth century from Germany and from neighboring states. The community founded a cemetery; the first burial took place in 1845.
Physical Therapy Assistant Online Programs Eufaula AL
Choosing the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Online Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Eufaula AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama