How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Cordele 31010
Earning a physical therapist degree near Cordele GA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Cordele 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Cordele GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Cordele GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to 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 practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cordele GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures 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 best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Cordele GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Cordele GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cordele GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Cordele GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Cordele health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor 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 opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Cordele GA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cordele GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cordele Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cordele GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
In November 1864, the area that is now Cordele served as the temporary capital of Georgia. During the last days of the Confederacy, Georgia's war governor Joseph E. Brown used his rural farmhouse to escape the wrath of Sherman's March to the Sea. During that time the farmhouse, which Brown called "Dooly County Place," served as the official capital for only a few days. It was replaced in 1890 by the Suwanee Hotel, located in what became downtown Cordele. The hotel was destroyed by a fire in late 1994 and was rebuilt.
Cordele was founded in 1888 by J.E.D. Shipp of Americus. The town was located at the junction of two major railroads – the Savannah, Americus & Montgomery line, and the Georgia Southern & Florida. As the railroads brought more people and business to the newly settled territory, Cordele experienced phenomenal growth. Before 1905 Cordele was located in southern Dooly County, 9 miles (14 km) from the county seat in Vienna. With Cordele's continued progress, many in the community felt the need for a seat of government to be closer than Vienna. Crisp County was formed in 1905 by taking a portion of southern Dooly County, and Cordele became its county seat.
By August 1930, Cordele housed the Crisp County Hydroelectric System, the first county-owned electric system. Located on the Flint River, the hydroelectric plant continues to operate, and the resulting Lake Blackshear has attracted residents to its waterfront properties.
Select the Right Physical Therapist School near Cordele GA
Selecting the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Cordele GA.
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