How to Select the Right Physical Therapy School near Farmington Georgia
Getting a physical therapy degree near Farmington GA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Farmington GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Farmington GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Farmington GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to 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 licensed practicing 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 overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Farmington GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs 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 alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Farmington GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Farmington GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Farmington GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Farmington GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Farmington medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Farmington GA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Farmington GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Farmington Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Farmington GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Farmington is an unincorporated community in Oconee County, Georgia, United States. The community is located along U.S. Routes 129/441, 3.1 miles (5.0 km) south-southeast of Bishop. Farmington has a post office with ZIP code 30638.
The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1919 as the "Town of Farmington". The community was so named on account of its location within a farming district. The town's municipal charter was repealed in 1995.
How Much Schooling Does A Physical Therapist Need Farmington GA
Selecting the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need 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 decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Much Schooling Does A Physical Therapist Need. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may 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 following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Farmington GA.
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