Home >> Alabama >> Millbrook >> Physical Therapy Degrees


Receive Free Info on Physical Therapist Training Millbrook AL 36022

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program Near Millbrook Alabama

Millbrook Alabama physical therapist working with female patient holding balance ballReceiving a physical therapist degree near Millbrook AL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it's essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state's licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we'll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Millbrook Alabama physical therapist helping woman to walk

Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Millbrook AL hospitals, health clinics, 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Burn injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Millbrook AL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Millbrook Alabama physical therapist working with patient in pool

There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available that qualifies the graduate 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 brief summaries of degree levels that are available to prospective students in the Millbrook AL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. 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 students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor's degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor's degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

Millbrook Alabama female student taking physical therapist training onlineAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Millbrook AL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Millbrook AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That's why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain 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 Ranking? Along with accreditation, it's imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Millbrook AL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Alabama Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Millbrook AL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It's essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Millbrook AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Millbrook healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Millbrook AL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Millbrook AL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Learn More About Millbrook Online Physical Therapy Training

Choose the Right Millbrook Physical Therapy School

Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Millbrook Alabama.


 

Millbrook Physical Therapist Schools | Main | Millbrook Physical Therapist Degrees