How to Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Conyers Georgia
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Conyers GA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Conyers GA 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, 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 design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Conyers GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as 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. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Conyers GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Conyers GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Conyers GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 select an online school, 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 just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple 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 reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Conyers GA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Conyers GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both excellent 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Conyers GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Conyers healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Conyers GA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college 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 confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Conyers GA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Conyers Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Conyers GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Conyers is the only city in Rockdale County, Georgia, United States. The city is twenty-four miles (38.6 km) east of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,195. The city is the county seat of Rockdale County. The formerly separate town of Milstead is now part of Conyers.
Before European settlement, the area which is now Conyers, along with the surrounding county of Rockdale, was occupied by mound-building Native Americans. As time progressed, the Muscogee (or Creek) and Cherokee natives shared a common border here. This border was known as the "Great Indian Road," and is known now as the "Hightower Trail". This trail was used by white settlers following the American Revolution.
Between 1816 and 1821, the area known as Rockdale was open for settlement. John Holcomb, a blacksmith, was the first settler in what is now Conyers. He settled where the current Rockdale County Courthouse is located, in the middle of Conyers on Main Street.
How To Become Physical Therapy Assistant Conyers GA
Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant 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 To Become Physical Therapy Assistant. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize 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 options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Conyers GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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