How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Tunnel Hill Georgia
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Tunnel Hill GA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Tunnel Hill 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Tunnel Hill GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on 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 Tunnel Hill GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Tunnel Hill GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many 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 dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Tunnel Hill GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Tunnel Hill GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations 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 filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Tunnel Hill GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both exceptional 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Tunnel Hill GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Tunnel Hill health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Tunnel Hill GA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online 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 keep 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Tunnel Hill GA area, make certain 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Tunnel Hill Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tunnel Hill GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Tunnel Hill, Georgia
Tunnel Hill is a town in northwest Whitfield County and southern Catoosa County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Dalton Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,209 at the 2000 census. The town is named for the Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel, a 1,497-foot (456 m) railroad tunnel built in the late 1840s.
The community was first known as Doe Run. It was incorporated on March 4, 1848, as Tunnelsville, and changed its name in 1856 to Tunnel Hill. Both names refer to a nearby 1,497-foot (456 m) railroad tunnel through Chetoogeta Mountain, officially dedicated on October 31, 1849 by Etowah steel-maker Mark A. Cooper on behalf of the state-owned Western & Atlantic Railroad.
The railroad tunnel was the first to be completed south of the Mason–Dixon line. The rail line operated during the late 1840s with passengers and freight being portaged over the mountain while the tunnel was constructed. Another tunnel next to it, completed in 1928, is still used by CSX Transportation. The original Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel is now paved for tourists to walk through; it has even more historic value, as the Great Locomotive Chase passed through it in 1862.
College That Offer Physical Therapy Tunnel Hill GA
Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on College That Offer Physical Therapy. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Tunnel Hill GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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