How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Cochran 31014
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Cochran GA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Cochran 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cochran GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Cochran GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable 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 existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cochran GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Cochran GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Cochran GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. 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 Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cochran GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Cochran GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Cochran medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical 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 a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Cochran GA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes 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 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cochran GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cochran Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cochran GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cochran is named for Judge Arthur E. Cochran and was incorporated on March 19, 1869. Judge Cochran was largely instrumental in developing this section of Georgia through his work as president of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, now the Southern Railway. Once known as Dykesboro, Cochran was settled by B. B. Dykes, who owned the site on which the town is built. The earliest settlers located here to work in the turpentine industry.
Cochran is home to Bleckley County High School and Middle Georgia State University. Three properties in Cochran are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Bleckley County Courthouse in Courthouse Square, the Cochran Municipal Building and School at the junction of Dykes and Second streets, and Hillcrest at 706 Beech Street.
Cochran, originally known as Dykesboro, was settled in the 1850s by B. B. Dykes. It was renamed Cochran in 1869 after Arthur Cochran, a railroad official who brought the Macon and Brunswick Railroad to town. In 1912, Cochran was designated seat of the newly formed Bleckley County.
Select the Best Physical Therapy College near Cochran GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Cochran GA.
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