How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Cartersville Georgia
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Cartersville GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide 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 most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Cartersville GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Cartersville GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Cartersville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement 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 normally require 4 years to complete and commonly include 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 must also 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 seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cartersville GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures 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 right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Cartersville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Cartersville GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cartersville GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Cartersville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training 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 form professional relationships in the Cartersville healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Cartersville GA home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm 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 must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cartersville GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Cartersville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cartersville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Cartersville is a city in Bartow County in the U.S. state of Georgia; it is located within the northwest edge of the Atlanta metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 19,731. Cartersville is the county seat of Bartow County.
Cartersville was first known as Birmingham to its original English settlers. The town was incorporated as Cartersville in 1854. The present name is for Col. Farish Carter of Milledgeville, the owner of a large plantation.
The Etowah River flows through a broad valley south of the downtown, leading west to Rome, where it forms the Coosa River, a tributary of the Alabama River. The city limits extend eastward, upriver, as far as Allatoona Dam, which forms Lake Allatoona, a large U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir. Red Top Mountain State Park sits on a peninsula in the lake, just outside the city limits. Nancy Creek also flows in the vicinity. The highest point in the city is 1,562 feet (476 m) at the summit of Pine Mountain.
How Long To Become Physical Therapist Cartersville GA
Choosing the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding 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 excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long To Become Physical Therapist. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Cartersville GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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