How to Enroll In the Right Physical Therapist School near Rome Georgia
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Rome GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Rome GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Rome GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only 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 brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Rome GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 offered in the USA. A number of 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rome GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, such as the kind 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 since there are so many PT schools within the Rome GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it may 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 just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Rome GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea 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 couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Rome 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 exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Rome GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Rome healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Rome GA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of help 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 beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Rome GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Rome Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rome GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Floyd County. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 36,303. It is the largest city in Northwest Georgia and the 19th largest city in the state.
Rome was built at the confluence of the Etowah and the Oostanaula rivers, forming the Coosa River. Because of its strategic advantages, this area was long occupied by the Creek and later the Cherokee people. National leaders such as Major Ridge and John Ross resided here before Indian Removal.
The city has developed on seven hills with the rivers running between them, a feature that inspired the early European-American settlers to name it for Rome, the longtime capital of Italy. It developed in the antebellum period as a market and trading city due to its advantageous location on the rivers, by which it sent the rich regional cotton commodity crop downriver to markets on the Gulf Coast and export overseas.
Schooling Needed For Physical Therapist Rome GA
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Schooling Needed For Physical Therapist. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rome GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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