How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Chatsworth 30705
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Chatsworth GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Chatsworth GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Chatsworth GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as 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 summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Chatsworth GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Chatsworth GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, 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 Chatsworth GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Chatsworth GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice 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 filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Chatsworth GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide 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 school you enroll in furnishes 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Chatsworth GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Chatsworth medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way 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 looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Chatsworth GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chatsworth GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Chatsworth Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Chatsworth GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Chatsworth is a city in Murray County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,531 at the 2000 census and 4,299 in 2010. The city is the county seat of Murray County.
According to a popular legend, the town received its name after a road sign with the word "Chatsworth" fell off a passing freight train nearby. Someone put the sign on a post, and the name stuck.
Chatsworth was founded in 1905 as a depot on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. It was incorporated as a town in 1906 and as a city in 1923. In 1915, the seat of Murray County was transferred to Chatsworth from Spring Place.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Chatsworth GA
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Chatsworth GA.
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