How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Grovetown Georgia
Earning a physical therapy degree near Grovetown GA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Grovetown 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 previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems 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:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Grovetown GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Grovetown GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require 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 therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary 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 mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Grovetown GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want 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 Grovetown GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned 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 enroll in an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist 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 can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Grovetown GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Grovetown GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Grovetown GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Grovetown healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class 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 therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Grovetown GA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining 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 too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Grovetown GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Grovetown Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Grovetown GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Grovetown is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta metropolitan area and the Central Savannah River Area. In the 2013 United States Census estimates, it had a population of 12,389. The mayor is Gary Jones.
Grovetown is located in southern Columbia County at 33°26′58″N 82°11′49″W / 33.44944°N 82.19694°W / 33.44944; -82.19694 (33.449324, -82.196972). Downtown Augusta is 15 miles (24 km) east. The northern boundary of Fort Gordon is 2 miles (3 km) south.
Grovetown is mainly served by Georgia State Route 223 (SR 223), known as Robinson Avenue from just northwest of Fort Gordon's Gate 2 to the intersection with Harlem–Grovetown Road, and SR 388, known as Wrightsboro Road past this point. At this intersection, SR 388 takes on the Wrightsboro Road name until it meets Katherine Street. At this intersection, the highway turns left onto Horizon South Parkway, while Wrightsboro Road continues toward Augusta. Harlem–Grovetown Road connects the city with Harlem.
Education Requirements For Physical Therapists Grovetown GA
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant 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 Education Requirements For Physical Therapists. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve 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 right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Grovetown GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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