How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Program near Meansville Georgia
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Meansville GA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number 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 investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Meansville GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Meansville GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, 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 keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Meansville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 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 Meansville GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Meansville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Meansville GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Meansville GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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 therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Meansville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Meansville healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Meansville GA residence. Individuals who have chosen 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Meansville GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Meansville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Meansville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
As of the census of 2000, there were 192 people, 73 households, and 58 families residing in the city. The population density was 365.9 people per square mile (142.6/km²). There were 78 housing units at an average density of 148.7 per square mile (57.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.17% White, 17.19% African American, 2.08% Native American, 0.52% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.17% of the population.
There were 73 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.2% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.
Universities With Physical Therapy Undergraduate Programs Meansville GA
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Universities With Physical Therapy Undergraduate Programs. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Meansville GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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