How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near East Ellijay Georgia
Receiving a physical therapist degree near East Ellijay GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as East Ellijay GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other East Ellijay GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the East Ellijay GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required 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 generally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing 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 Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s East Ellijay GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the East Ellijay GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some East Ellijay GA physical therapy clinics or other medical 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might 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 help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the East Ellijay 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 exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have partnerships with East Ellijay GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the East Ellijay medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their East Ellijay GA home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the East Ellijay GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near East Ellijay Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the East Ellijay GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
East Ellijay, Georgia
As its name suggests, it is just east of Ellijay, the site of a Cherokee settlement, one of several with the name. In the Cherokee language the name is properly rendered Elatseyi (abbreviated to "Elatse"), which can be translated as "green verdant earth", suggesting fresh-springing vegetation. It was variously spelled "Ellijay", "Elejoy", and "Allagae". In addition to the Cherokee town in Georgia, there were Cherokee towns of this name on the Keowee River in South Carolina, on the Little Tennessee River at Ellijay Creek in North Carolina, and on Ellejoy Creek of the Little River near present-day Maryville, Tennessee.
East Ellijay is located in central Gilmer County at 34°41′5″N 84°28′21″W / 34.68472°N 84.47250°W / 34.68472; -84.47250 (34.684668, -84.472434). It is bordered to the north and west by the city of Ellijay.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), all land. Georgia State Route 5/515, a four-lane bypass of Ellijay, runs the length of East Ellijay from north to south. U.S. Route 76 follows Routes 5/515 in the northern half of East Ellijay. The city of Blue Ridge is 15 miles (24 km) to the northeast, Jasper is 19 miles (31 km) to the south, and Chatsworth is 25 miles (40 km) to the west. Georgia State Route 52 runs southeast from East Ellijay 38 miles (61 km) to Dahlonega.
Colleges That Have Physical Therapy East Ellijay GA
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Colleges That Have Physical Therapy. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability 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 East Ellijay GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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