How to Pick the Right Physical Therapist Program near Zebulon Georgia
Getting a physical therapy degree near Zebulon GA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Zebulon GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Fire injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Zebulon GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Zebulon 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. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically 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 a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually include 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some licensed 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 Online Schools
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Zebulon GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar 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 attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Zebulon GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing 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 select an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Zebulon GA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Zebulon GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Zebulon GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Zebulon medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Zebulon GA home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Zebulon GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Zebulon Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Zebulon GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Zebulon is a city in Pike County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,181 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Pike County. The city and county were named after explorer Zebulon Pike.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.2 km²), of which 3.5 square miles (9.0 km²) is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1 km²) (1.13%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,181 people, 464 households, and 324 families residing in the city. The population density was 338.0 people per square mile (130.7/km²). There were 499 housing units at an average density of 142.8 per square mile (55.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.12% White, 36.92% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.27% Asian, 0.68% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.95% of the population.
Physical Therapy Schools Online Accredited Zebulon GA
Choosing the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Schools Online Accredited. However, as you commence your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental 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 achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Zebulon GA.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Georgia
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