How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist College near Pine Mountain Georgia
Getting a physical therapist degree near Pine Mountain GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Pine Mountain 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 previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Pine Mountain GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Pine Mountain GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding 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 Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pine Mountain GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Pine Mountain GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Pine Mountain GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pine Mountain GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Pine Mountain GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive 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 may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Pine Mountain health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Pine Mountain GA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pine Mountain GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. 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 Pine Mountain Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pine Mountain GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Pine Mountain, Georgia
Graduate Physical Therapy Schools Pine Mountain GA
Selecting the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Graduate Physical Therapy Schools. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pine Mountain GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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