How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Program near Marietta Georgia
Earning a physical therapy degree near Marietta GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Marietta GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Marietta GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Marietta 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs 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 close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Marietta GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Marietta GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Marietta GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent 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 two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Marietta GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school 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 practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Marietta GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Marietta healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Marietta GA home. Those who have opted 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Marietta GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Marietta Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Marietta GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,579. The 2017 estimate is 61,048, making it one of Atlanta's largest suburbs. Marietta is the fourth largest of the principal cities (by population) of the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area.
The origin of the name is uncertain. It is believed that the city was named for Mary Cobb, the wife of U.S. Senator and Superior Court judge Thomas Willis Cobb. Judge Cobb is the namesake of the county.
Homes were built by early settlers near the Cherokee town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) prior to 1824. The first plat was laid out in 1833. Like most towns, Marietta had a square (see Marietta Square) in the center with a courthouse. The Georgia General Assembly legally recognized the community on December 19, 1834.
Physical Therapy Assistant Bachelor’s Degree Marietta GA
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Bachelor’s Degree. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Marietta GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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