Home >> Alabama >> Scottsboro >> Physical Therapy Major Programs


Get Free Info on Physical Therapy Programs Scottsboro AL 35768

How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist Training Program Near Scottsboro Alabama

Scottsboro Alabama physical therapist working with woman holding balance ballObtaining a physical therapy degree near Scottsboro AL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it's important to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state's licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Scottsboro Alabama DPT helping female patient to walk

Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Scottsboro 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Sports injuries
  • Fire injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Scottsboro AL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapy Degrees

Scottsboro Alabama physical therapist working with man in pool

There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable that qualifies the graduate to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered to prospective students in the Scottsboro AL area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor's Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor's degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master's or even a bachelor's degree were "grandfathered" in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

Scottsboro Alabama woman taking physical therapy classes onlineAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so 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 close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student's Scottsboro AL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Scottsboro AL area and throughout Alabama, you'll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That's the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It's essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program's Standing? In addition to accreditation, it's important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school's reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Scottsboro AL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations 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 filed against the schools.

What is the College's Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college's job placement program, particularly in the Scottsboro AL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It's important that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Alabama or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Scottsboro AL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional connections in the Scottsboro healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the physical therapy program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Scottsboro AL home. Individuals who have decided 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 importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don't reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Scottsboro AL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Find Out More About Scottsboro Online Physical Therapy Training

Enroll in the Best Scottsboro Physical Therapy School

Picking the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Scottsboro Alabama.


 

Scottsboro Physical Therapist Degrees | Main | Scottsboro Physical Therapy Schools