How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Course near Hamilton Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Hamilton AL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Hamilton AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hamilton AL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Hamilton AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. 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 therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hamilton AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Hamilton AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 also. Call several Hamilton AL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hamilton AL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Hamilton AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Hamilton healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Hamilton AL home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hamilton AL area, confirm 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Hamilton Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hamilton AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Joshua Holt Hamilton (born May 21, 1981) is an American former professional baseball outfielder. He played for the Cincinnati Reds (2007), Texas Rangers (2008-2012, 2015), and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2013–2014). Hamilton is a five-time MLB All-Star and won the American League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2010.
Josh Hamilton was the first overall pick in the 1999 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was considered a blue chip prospect until injuries and a drug addiction derailed his career, beginning in 2001. Prior to the 2007 season, Hamilton was selected by the Chicago Cubs (picking for the Reds) in the Rule 5 draft. During the off-season he was traded to the Rangers.
During the 2008 season, Hamilton was named to the AL All-Star team. He also participated in the Home Run Derby, where he hit a record 28 home runs in the opening round and finished with 35 home runs, which was second-most all-time in derby history. He made the All-Star team the next four seasons as well. In 2012, Hamilton received more votes than any other player on the All-Star Game ballot, besting by approximately 3.5 million votes the vote count set in 2011 by José Bautista. Hamilton won the AL batting title in 2010. On October 22, 2010, Hamilton was selected as MVP of the 2010 ALCS. On November 23, 2010, Hamilton was named the 2010 AL MVP, earning 22 of 28 first-place votes. On May 8, 2012, Hamilton became the 16th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a game. All 4 home runs were 2-run home runs, and he set an AL record for total bases in a game with 18.
Top Colleges For Physical Therapy Hamilton AL
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select 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 as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Top Colleges For Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hamilton AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama