How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Program near Alexandria Alabama
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Alexandria AL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Alexandria AL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Alexandria AL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only 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 prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Alexandria AL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While 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 most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Alexandria AL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Alexandria AL area and across Alabama, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. 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 search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Alexandria AL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Alexandria AL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. 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. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Alexandria AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Alexandria medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Alexandria AL home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Alexandria AL area, check 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Alexandria Alabama?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Alexandria AL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Alexandria (/ˌælɪɡˈzændriə/ or /-ˈzɑːnd-/;Arabic: الإسكندرية al-ʾIskandariyya; Coptic: ⲁⲗⲉⲝⲁⲛⲇⲣⲓⲁ Alexandria or ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ Rakote) is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km (20 mi) along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it highly vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is also a popular tourist destination.
Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great,king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world); and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome. Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, and during the Ptolemaic dynasty.
From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
Physical Therapy Degree Alexandria AL
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important 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 Physical Therapy Degree. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options 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 Alexandria AL.
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