How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Eastman Georgia
Getting a physical therapist degree near Eastman GA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Eastman GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Eastman GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Eastman GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal 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 also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of 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 Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Eastman GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Eastman GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program 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 ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Eastman GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Eastman GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both exceptional 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Eastman GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent 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 secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Eastman medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Eastman 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 area 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eastman GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Eastman Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Eastman GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Eastman is a city in Dodge County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,962 at the 2010 census. Named after one of the founders who contributed a site and paid for the county courthouse, the city was established in 1871, and is the county seat of Dodge County.
In the 19th century, this was a center of the timber and sawmill industry. During the Great Depression in 1937, the first Stuckey's convenience store, now well known along roadways throughout the Southeastern United States, was founded in Eastman.
The first permanent settlement at Eastman was made in 1840. Eastman grew up as a station of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad which was built through the area in the summer of 1869. Eastman was originally named Levison and was renamed Eastman by December 1869. Eastman was named in 1871 as the seat of the newly formed Dodge County. It was incorporated as a town in 1873 and as a city in 1905. Eastman is named for W. P. Eastman, who, with W. E. Dodge, presented the county with a courthouse.
Physical Therapist Majors In College Eastman GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Majors In College. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Eastman GA.
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