How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Program near Tallassee Alabama
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Tallassee AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating 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 the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Tallassee 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Tallassee 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 the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Tallassee AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so 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 an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Tallassee AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Tallassee AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned 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 enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Tallassee 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 college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Tallassee AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Tallassee AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Tallassee medical community and assist 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 small class size. Smaller classes enable 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 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 speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Tallassee AL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring 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 eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Tallassee AL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Tallassee Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tallassee AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Tallassee (pronounced /ˈtæːləsi/) is a city on the Tallapoosa River, located in both Elmore and Tallapoosa counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. At the 2010 census the population was 4,819. It is home to a major hydroelectric power plant at Thurlow Dam operated by Alabama Power Company.
The historic Creek peoples in this area are believed to have descended from the Mississippian culture, which flourished throughout the Mississippi and Ohio river valleys and the Southeast from about 1000 to 1450. They were mound builders, who created massive earthwork mounds as structures for political and religious purposes. They relied greatly on fishing and riverway trading at their major sites (c.f. Moundville, Tuscaloosa).
Talisi was a town of the Coosa Province of the Mississippian culture; it was visited in 1540 by Hernando de Soto and his expedition through the Southeast. Later it was occupied by the historic Creek people. The Tallassee area was the location of the Creek capital city, Tuckabatchee, as well as the location of the seven sacred plates.
PTA Associates Degree Tallassee AL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on PTA Associates Degree. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Tallassee AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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