How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapy College near Hinesville Georgia
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Hinesville GA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Hinesville GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped 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 develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Hinesville GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Hinesville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships 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 may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hinesville GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Hinesville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Hinesville GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hinesville GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Hinesville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Hinesville healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Hinesville GA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hinesville GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Hinesville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hinesville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Hinesville is a city in Liberty County, Georgia, United States. The population was 33,437 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Liberty County. Nearby Fort Stewart and the principal city of Hinesville are part of the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan statistical area, which comprises all of Liberty County and neighboring Long County.
Hinesville was founded in 1837. That same year, the seat of Liberty County was transferred to Hinesville from Riceboro. It was incorporated as a city in 1916. The city is named for Charleton Hines, a state senator. A 2017 report by Business Insider listed Hinesville as the most boring city in Georgia, noting that there were only 25 full service restaurants, 4 bars, 13 hotels, and 0 museums in the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan statistical area.
Hinesville is located next to the Atlantic coast which has an abundance of coastal streams and waterways. It is known for its pine trees, oaks, deer, wild hogs, and other wildlife. The Cay Creek Wetlands is a waterway that sits in Midway, Georgia and Hinesville in which can be seen nature and the historical Liberty Trail. It is the second largest city on U.S. Route 84 in Georgia after Valdosta. It is 58 miles west from U.S. Route 84 eastern terminus and 275 miles east of Dothan, Alabama. Hinesville was founded by Samuel Bethea Jr.
School Requirements For Physical Therapist Hinesville GA
Choosing the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on School Requirements For Physical Therapist. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach 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 education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hinesville GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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