How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Glenwood Alabama
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Glenwood AL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Glenwood AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Glenwood AL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Glenwood AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and commonly include 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. A number of licensed 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Glenwood AL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Glenwood AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received 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 choose an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional 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 refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Glenwood AL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare 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 prudent 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Glenwood AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential 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 practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Glenwood AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Glenwood health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big 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 undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Glenwood AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Glenwood AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours 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 obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Glenwood Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Glenwood AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
As of the census of 2000, there were 191 people, 92 households, and 58 families residing in the town. The population density was 262.8 people per square mile (101.0/km²). There were 118 housing units at an average density of 162.3 per square mile (62.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 69.11% White, 29.84% Black or African American, and 1.05% from two or more races. 0.52% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 92 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.9% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.59.
In the town, the population was spread out with 18.3% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.3 males.
How Much School To Be A Physical Therapist Glenwood AL
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Much School To Be A Physical Therapist. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Glenwood AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama