How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Palmetto Georgia
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Palmetto GA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Palmetto GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Palmetto GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly 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 three physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, 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 prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Palmetto GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Palmetto GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Palmetto GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
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 therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Palmetto GA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Palmetto GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Palmetto GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Palmetto healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Palmetto GA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist 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 Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Palmetto GA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Palmetto Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Palmetto GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Palmetto (established 1853) is a city located mostly in Fulton County (originally Campbell County) and now partly in Coweta County in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 4,488 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.6 square miles (30 km2), of which 11.4 square miles (30 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 1.60%, is water.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 4,488 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 56.9% Black, 26.9% White, 0.1% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from some other race and 2.5% from two or more races. 12.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
How Long To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant Palmetto GA
Picking the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important 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 How Long To Become A Physical Therapist Assistant. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Palmetto GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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