How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near Crawfordville Georgia
Getting a physical therapist degree near Crawfordville GA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Crawfordville GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Crawfordville GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become 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. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Crawfordville GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although 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 most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Crawfordville GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy 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 so many PT schools within the Crawfordville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Crawfordville GA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Crawfordville GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. 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 PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Crawfordville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Crawfordville healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Crawfordville GA home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Crawfordville GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Crawfordville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Crawfordville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Crawfordville was founded in 1825 as the seat of the newly formed Taliaferro County. It was incorporated as a town in 1826 and as a city in 1906. The community was named after William H. Crawford (1772–1834), U.S. Secretary of War and Secretary of the Treasury.
As of the census of 2000, there were 572 people, 260 households, and 163 families residing in the city. The population density was 182.4 people per square mile (70.3/km²). There were 312 housing units at an average density of 99.5 per square mile (38.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 41.43% White, 56.99% African American, 1.05% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.52% of the population.
There were 260 households out of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.7% were married couples living together, 26.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.3% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 19.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.82.
How Long Does It Take To Become A PTA Crawfordville GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long Does It Take To Become A PTA. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Crawfordville GA.
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