How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Course near Valdosta Georgia
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Valdosta GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address 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, including Valdosta 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Valdosta GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Valdosta GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible 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 take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Valdosta GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Valdosta 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 need to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Valdosta GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Valdosta GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy 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 exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Valdosta GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Valdosta health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at 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 converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Valdosta GA home. Those who have decided 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 decide to enroll in a program 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Valdosta GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Valdosta Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Valdosta GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Valdosta is a city in and the county seat of Lowndes County, located on the southern border of Georgia, United States. As of 2013, Valdosta has a total population of 56,481, and is the 14th largest city in Georgia.
Valdosta is the home of Valdosta State University, a regional university in the University System of Georgia with over 10,900 students. The local public Valdosta High School has the most winning football program of any high school in the United States.
Valdosta was incorporated on December 7, 1860, when it was designated by the state legislature as the new county seat, formerly at nearby Troupville. The railroad was built to Valdosta that year, rather than Troupville, stimulating development in the new county seat. Many citizens of Troupville had already relocated to Valdosta when the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad was built four miles (about 6 km) away. On July 4, 1860, the engine known as Satilla No. 3 pulled the first train into Valdosta on the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad.
Years Of Schooling For Physical Therapist Valdosta GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Years Of Schooling For Physical Therapist. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Valdosta GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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