How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Theodore Alabama
Earning a physical therapist degree near Theodore AL is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of 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 proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Theodore AL private practices, hospitals, 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 earlier mentioned, 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 create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Theodore AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only 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 readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Theodore AL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure 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 part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Theodore AL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Theodore AL area and throughout Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is right 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 all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Theodore AL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Theodore AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Theodore AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Theodore medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Theodore 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 area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring 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 program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Theodore AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need 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 Theodore Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Theodore AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Theodore is a census-designated place (CDP) in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population was 6,130 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Mobile metropolitan statistical area. Prior to 1900 this area was known as Clements, but is now named for William Theodore Hieronymous (a sawmill operator and postmaster).
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,811 people, 2,483 households, and 1,926 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 571.6 people per square mile (220.6/km²). There were 2,697 housing units at an average density of 226.3 per square mile (87.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 71.11% White, 25.58% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 1.29% Asian, 0.41% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 1.38% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,483 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.6% were married couples living together, 19.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.11.
Physical Therapy Trade Schools Theodore AL
Picking the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical 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 Physical Therapy Trade Schools. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Theodore AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama
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