How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near Sardis Georgia
Earning a physical therapy degree near Sardis GA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college just 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 evaluated besides 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Sardis 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 touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility problems 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 numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Sardis GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather 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
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Sardis GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and commonly include 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Sardis GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Sardis GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Sardis GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 Sardis GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Sardis GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Sardis healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Sardis GA home. Those who have opted 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Sardis GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Sardis Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Sardis GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Sardis is a city in Burke County, Georgia, United States. The population is 971 based on 2017 US Census estimates. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).
Sardis is located in southeastern Burke County at 32°58′28″N 81°45′31″W / 32.97444°N 81.75861°W / 32.97444; -81.75861 (32.974510, -81.758504). It is 17 miles (27 km) southeast of Waynesboro, the Burke County seat.
Around the turn of the 20th Century, a small crossroads community called Frog Wallow was developing in southeast Burke County. With the construction of the Savannah & Atlanta Railway, the tiny town lay on the new railroad connecting the two large hubs. In 1912, the town was incorporated as Sardis by the Georgia Legislature, named after the Baptist church that had flourished in the town over the past decades. 
How Many Years For Physical Therapy Degree Sardis GA
Selecting the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. 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 For Physical Therapy Degree. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy college bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Sardis GA.
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