How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Wadley Alabama
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Wadley AL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. 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 provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Wadley AL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Wadley AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Wadley AL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wadley AL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Wadley AL area and across Alabama, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal 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 all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting 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 agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Wadley AL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wadley AL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Wadley AL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Wadley health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Wadley AL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online 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 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible 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 assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Wadley AL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Wadley Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wadley AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Wadley is a town in Randolph County, Alabama, United States. It is home to the Wadley campus of Southern Union State Community College. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 751, up from 640 in 2000. According to the 1910 U.S. Census, the town was incorporated in 1908.
As of the census of 2000, there were 640 people, 228 households, and 149 families residing in the town. The population density was 463.7 people per square mile (179.1/km²). There were 276 housing units at an average density of 200.0 per square mile (77.2/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 65.16% White, 33.28% Black or African American, 1.09% from other races, and 0.47% from two or more races. 2.19% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 228 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.3% were married couples living together, 24.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.6% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.91.
Schooling To Become A Physical Therapist Wadley AL
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Schooling To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Wadley AL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Alabama