How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Cornelia 30531
Earning a physical therapy degree near Cornelia GA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Cornelia GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Cornelia GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become 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. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Cornelia GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. 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 implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cornelia GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Cornelia GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Cornelia GA physical therapist clinics 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 contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cornelia GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both exceptional 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 school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Cornelia GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Cornelia health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Cornelia GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cornelia GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cornelia Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cornelia GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cornelia is a city in Habersham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,160 at the 2010 census, up from 3,674 at the 2000 census. It is home to one of the world's largest apple sculptures, which is displayed on top of an obelisk-shaped monument. Cornelia was the retirement home of baseball legend Ty Cobb who was born nearby, and was a base of operation for production of the 1956 Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase that was filmed along the Tallulah Falls Railway that ran from Cornelia northward along the rim of Tallulah Gorge to Franklin, North Carolina.
Cornelia is located in southern Habersham County at 34°30′49″N 83°31′51″W / 34.51361°N 83.53083°W / 34.51361; -83.53083 (34.513716, -83.530942). It is bordered to the east by Mount Airy and to the southwest by Baldwin.
Cornelia was originally called "Blaine", and under the latter name had its start in the early 1870s when the Charlotte Airline Railroad was extended to that point. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1887 as the "Town of Cornelia".
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Cornelia GA
Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. 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. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active 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 following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Cornelia GA.
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