How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy Program near Thomaston Georgia
Earning a physical therapy degree near Thomaston GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Thomaston GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. 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 patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Thomaston GA health 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. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Thomaston GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated 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 current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Thomaston GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. 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, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Thomaston GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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 as well. Get in touch with some Thomaston GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Thomaston GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Thomaston GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Thomaston healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Thomaston GA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Thomaston GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Thomaston Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Thomaston GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Thomaston is a city in and the county seat of Upson County,Georgia, United States. The population was 9,638 at the 2006 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Thomaston, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta - Sandy Springs (GA) - Gainesville (GA) - Alabama (partial) Combined Statistical Area.
Thomaston was incorporated on January 1, 1825, and designated as the seat of Upson County. The town was named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Jett is also credited with assisting in the construction of the state capitol at Milledgeville in 1805-7 and Franklin College on the campus of the University of Georgia in 1806.
The judges of the inferior court had the authority to sell lots to individuals on a one-third cash basis with two years to complete the payment. This money was used to build the first courthouse, which was completed in 1828. The second courthouse was completed in 1852, and the present courthouse was erected in 1908. In the southeast corner of the square is a cannonball mounted on a marble base, said to be the first fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. P. W. Alexander, a noted correspondent during the Civil War (1861–65) and a citizen of Upson County, retrieved it.
PhD Physical Therapy Programs Thomaston GA
Picking the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical 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 PhD Physical Therapy Programs. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist program keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following 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 education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Thomaston GA.
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