How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Savannah Georgia
Getting a physical therapist degree near Savannah GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people 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 need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Savannah GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing 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 reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Savannah GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Savannah GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 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. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Savannah GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Savannah GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Savannah GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Savannah GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program 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 working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Savannah GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Savannah healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Savannah GA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Savannah GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Savannah Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Savannah GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Savannah (/səˈvænə/) is the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia and is the county seat of Chatham County. Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. A strategic port city in the American Revolution and during the American Civil War, Savannah is today an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport. It is Georgia's fifth-largest city, with a 2017 estimated population of 146,444. The Savannah metropolitan area, Georgia's third largest, had an estimated population of 387,543 in 2017.
Each year Savannah attracts millions of visitors to its cobblestone streets, parks, and notable historic buildings: the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA), the Georgia Historical Society (the oldest continually operating historical society in the South), the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences (one of the South's first public museums), the First African Baptist Church (one of the oldest African-American Baptist congregations in the United States), Temple Mickve Israel (the third oldest synagogue in America), and the Central of Georgia Railway roundhouse complex (the oldest standing antebellum rail facility in America).
Savannah's downtown area, which includes the Savannah Historic District, the Savannah Victorian Historic District, and 22 parklike squares, is one of the largest National Historic Landmark Districts in the United States (designated by the U.S. government in 1966).[a] Downtown Savannah largely retains the original town plan prescribed by founder James Oglethorpe (a design now known as the Oglethorpe Plan). Savannah was the host city for the sailing competitions during the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta.
PT PhD Programs Savannah GA
Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on PT PhD Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapy program bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Savannah GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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