How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist Course near Lavonia Georgia
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Lavonia GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to 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 necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Lavonia GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Lavonia GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Lavonia GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lavonia GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right 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 regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Lavonia GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, 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 as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Lavonia GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with 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 couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lavonia GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Lavonia GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Lavonia health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Lavonia GA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lavonia GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Lavonia Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lavonia GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Lavonia is located in northeastern Franklin County at 34°26′10″N 83°6′23″W / 34.43611°N 83.10639°W / 34.43611; -83.10639 (34.436055, -83.106270). A small portion of the town extends southeast into Hart County.
The Cherokee people were indigenous to the area in which Lavonia is located. A sophisticated tribe that typically dwelled in cabins by the 18th century, the Cherokee joined with the British during the American Revolution. When the American colonists prevailed, their land was issued as bounty land to those who had fought in the revolution. As a result, people of European ancestry began to move into the Lavonia area during the 1780s.
The founding of the town of Lavonia came as the result of the expansion of the railroad in northeast Georgia. A railroad line known as the Elberton-Airline Railroad desired another station further to the north. In a move typical for the time, businessmen in the area determined to build a town around the new railroad station. Upon division of the area into town lots and completion of all necessary legal procedures, the town of Lavonia was incorporated in 1880.
Physical Therapist Assistant School Requirements Lavonia GA
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapist Assistant School Requirements. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy school bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lavonia GA.
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