How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Course near Louisville Georgia
Getting a physical therapist degree near Louisville GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. 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 lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as Louisville GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues 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:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Louisville GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating 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 routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Louisville GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Louisville GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Louisville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Louisville GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice 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 filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to 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 Louisville GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Louisville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Louisville healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Louisville GA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Louisville 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Louisville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Louisville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Louisville is a city in Jefferson County, Georgia, United States. It is a former state capital of Georgia and is the county seat of Jefferson County. It is located southwest of Augusta on the Ogeechee River, and its population was 2,493 at the 2010 census, down from 2,712 at the 2000 census. The name is of French origin, but is pronounced "Lewis-ville".
Louisville was incorporated on January 26, 1786, as the prospective state capital. Savannah had served as the colonial capital, but was considered too far from the center of population in the growing state. Louisville was named for Louis XVI, who was still the King of France and had aided the Continentals during the successful American Revolutionary War. Development of the city began later, and its state government buildings were completed in 1795. An old Revolutionary War Soldiers Cemetery is located on the western side of town.
Louisville's historic, open-sided market house still stands in the center of downtown. The original market had sections for sales of farm produce, household goods, and enslaved African Americans. The Old Market is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Roads and other transportation routes intersected at the market square, the hub of the region when the town was the state capital. The state capital was moved to Milledgeville and later to Atlanta, in the Piedmont.
How To Become A Licensed Physical Therapist Louisville GA
Picking the ideal physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important 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 To Become A Licensed Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy school keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Louisville GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia