How to Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near Wrightsville Georgia
Earning a physical therapist degree near Wrightsville GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper 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 college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Wrightsville GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Fire injuries
- Hip Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Wrightsville GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Wrightsville 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 earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so 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 near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wrightsville GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Wrightsville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Wrightsville GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Wrightsville GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Wrightsville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Wrightsville medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Wrightsville GA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wrightsville GA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Wrightsville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wrightsville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Wrightsville is a city in Johnson County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,757 at the 2010 census, up from 2,223 at the 2000 census. The city limits include Johnson State Prison on the northeast side of town. Wrightsville was established February 23, 1886, and was named for John B. Wright, one of the members of the committee responsible for selecting the site for the town. The city is the county seat of Johnson County.
Wrightsville is located west of the center of Johnson County at 32°43′30″N 82°43′13″W / 32.72500°N 82.72028°W / 32.72500; -82.72028 (32.725126, -82.720289).U.S. Route 319 passes through the city center on Elm Street; it leads northeast 19 miles (31 km) to Bartow and southwest 18 miles (29 km) to Dublin. State Routes 15 and 57 also pass through the center of Wrightsville. SR-15 leads north 19 miles (31 km) to Sandersville and southeast 17 miles (27 km) to Adrian, while SR-57 leads west 37 miles (60 km) to Irwinton and southeast 25 miles (40 km) to Swainsboro.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Wrightsville has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) are land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km2), or 2.20%, are water. The city is drained by tributaries of the Ohoopee River.
Physical Therapy Assistant Training Online Wrightsville GA
Selecting the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Assistant Training Online. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Wrightsville GA.
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