How Long Does It Take To Become Physical Therapist Assistant Winder GA

How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Winder Georgia

Winder GA physical therapist in pool with patientGetting a physical therapist degree near Winder GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can 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 requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Winder GA physical therapy patient learning to walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Winder GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Fire injuries
  • Hip Replacement
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cerebral Palsy

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Winder GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind 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 kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Winder GA physical therpaist welcoming patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Winder GA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

student attending physical therapy degree program online in Winder GAWhile not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Winder GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

Questions to ask Winder GA physical therapy schoolsAt this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Winder GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Winder GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with 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 useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Winder 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 perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Winder GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Winder healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Winder GA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Winder GA area, check 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 have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Winder Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Winder GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.

Winder, Georgia

Winder (pronounced WINE-der)[5] is a city in Barrow County, Georgia, United States. It is located east of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. The population was 14,099 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Barrow County.[6]

Winder was a place for early settlement, being first occupied hundreds of years ago by Creek Indians, who called it Snodon.[7] Activities centered around what are now Athens and Church streets. When white settlers established homes and farms near that village in 1793, the town was renamed, becoming The Jug, and, ten years later; Jug Tavern. At that time, the town had a population of 37 persons. The first school was built on 11.5 acres, known as the Academy Lot, located at the intersection of West Athens and Church streets. An historic marker now commemorates the site. For protection from hostile Indians, Fort Yargo was constructed, one of four such forts built in the area by the Humphrey brothers.

Jug Tavern grew slowly during the decades before the Civil War. The town, at the time of its origin, extended from the railroad crossing of Broad Street (then known as Jefferson Road) for one-half mile into three counties: Jackson, Walton and Gwinnett. In 1884, Jug Tavern was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly.[8] It was first governed by a mayor and four aldermen who were elected annually. The first mayor, N. J. Kelly, took the oath of office on January 8, 1885.

How Long Does It Take To Become Physical Therapist Assistant Winder GA

Deciding on the right physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on How Long Does It Take To Become Physical Therapist Assistant. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Winder GA.

Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia

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    BenchMark Physical Therapy - Winder
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