How Many Years To Become A Physical Therapist Preston GA

How to Select the Right Physical Therapy College near Preston Georgia

Preston GA physical therapist in pool with patientObtaining a physical therapy degree near Preston GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Preston GA physical therapy patient learning to walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Preston GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Sports injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Preston GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee 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 considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Preston GA physical therpaist welcoming patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Preston GA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

student attending physical therapy degree program online in Preston GAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Preston GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

Questions to ask Preston GA physical therapy schoolsAt this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Preston GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Preston GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Preston GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Preston GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Preston medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Preston GA residence. Students who have decided 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. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Preston GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Preston Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Preston GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.

Preston, Georgia

Preston is an unincorporated community in Webster County, Georgia, United States, located seventeen miles west of Americus. The population was 453 at the 2000 census. From 1857 to 2009, Preston was an incorporated municipality. The community is the county seat of Webster County.[3]

Preston was founded in 1856 as the seat of Webster County. It was incorporated as a town in 1857 and as a city in 1977.[4] In 2009, the city was disincorporated and became part of the Unified Government of Webster County.

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 453 people, 190 households, and 129 families residing in the town. The population density was 100.1 people per square mile (38.6/km²). There were 205 housing units at an average density of 45.3 per square mile (17.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.77% White, 28.26% African American, 0.22% Native American, 3.53% from other races, and 0.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.75% of the population.

How Many Years To Become A Physical Therapist Preston GA

Choosing the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Many Years To Become A Physical Therapist. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Preston GA.

Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia

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