Study Physical Therapy Dalton GA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Dalton Georgia

Dalton GA physical therapist in pool with patientReceiving a physical therapist degree near Dalton GA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring 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 looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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 the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Dalton GA physical therapy patient learning to walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Dalton GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries
  • Heart attacks
  • Sports injuries
  • Fire injuries
  • Knee Replacement
  • Sciatica
  • Multiple Sclerosis

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Dalton GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Dalton GA physical therpaist welcoming patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Dalton GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

student attending physical therapy degree program online in Dalton GAAlthough not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dalton GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

Questions to ask Dalton GA physical therapy schoolsBy now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Dalton GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain 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 Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Dalton GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dalton GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Dalton GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Dalton healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Dalton GA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dalton GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Dalton Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dalton GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.

Dalton, Georgia

Dalton is a city in Whitfield County, Georgia, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield County[4] and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties.

Dalton is home to many of the nation's floor-covering manufacturers, primarily those producing carpet, rugs and vinyl flooring. Like most towns that predate the Civil War, Dalton and the surrounding area saw skirmishes during the conflict. It is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and hosts a variety of events.

Dalton is located at (34.771088, -84.971553).[5] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51 km2), of which 19.8 square miles (51 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.10%) is water.

Study Physical Therapy Dalton GA

Picking the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Study Physical Therapy. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Dalton GA.

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