How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Course near Oakwood Georgia
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Oakwood GA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Oakwood GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Oakwood GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Oakwood GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding 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 Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Oakwood GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Oakwood GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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. Get in touch with several Oakwood GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Oakwood GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Oakwood GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means 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 secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Oakwood healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Oakwood GA home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Oakwood GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Oakwood Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oakwood GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Oakwood is a city in Hall County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,970 at the 2010 census, up from 2,689 in 2000. Oakwood is home to the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus and Wayne Farms.
Oakwood is located southwest of the center of Hall County at 34°13′52″N 83°52′57″W / 34.23111°N 83.88250°W / 34.23111; -83.88250 (34.230976, −83.882364). It is bordered to the northeast by the city of Gainesville, the county seat, and to the southwest by the city of Flowery Branch.
Oakwood was named after the railroad tracks that ran, and still are running as of 2008, through Oakwood and Gainesville. Because most of the cars contained wood (particularly high quality oak), it seemed reasonable to name the city after that type of lumber.
Education Physical Therapist Oakwood GA
Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Education Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy college keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Oakwood GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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