How to Select the Right Physical Therapy Program near Dawsonville Georgia
Earning a physical therapist degree near Dawsonville GA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with 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 residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Dawsonville GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Dawsonville GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Dawsonville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 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 therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning 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 essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more 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. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dawsonville GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind 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 since there are so many PT schools within the Dawsonville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Dawsonville GA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with 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 significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dawsonville GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Dawsonville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Dawsonville healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Dawsonville GA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Dawsonville GA area, check that they are offered. 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 enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Dawsonville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dawsonville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Dawsonville was founded in 1857 as seat of the newly formed Dawson County. It was incorporated as a town in 1859 and as a city in 1952. The community and the county are named for state senator William Crosby Dawson.
The community is at the junction of State Routes 9, 53, and 136. SR 9 leads northeast 14 miles (23 km) to Dahlonega and south 17 miles (27 km) to Cumming, while SR 53 leads southeast 6 miles (10 km) to U.S. Route 19 and west 24 miles (39 km) to Jasper. SR 136 also leads to Jasper, on a 29-mile (47 km) route that runs further to the north through the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
As of the census of 2000, there were 619 people, 234 households, and 153 families residing in the city. The population density was 320.9 people per square mile (123.8/km²). There were 257 housing units at an average density of 133.2 per square mile (51.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 97.58% White, 0.16% Native American, 0.97% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.00% of the population.
Associates Degree In Physical Therapy Assistant Dawsonville GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Associates Degree In Physical Therapy Assistant. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Dawsonville GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 62