How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Covington 30014
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Covington GA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. 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 besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Covington 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Covington GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Covington GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Covington GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding 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 since there are numerous PT schools within the Covington GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’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 also. Contact several Covington GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Covington GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Covington GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Covington health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Covington GA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply 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 type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting 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 school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Covington GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Covington Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Covington GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Covington was founded by European immigrants to the United States. It was incorporated in 1822 as the seat of the newly organized Newton County. Covington was named for United States Army Brigadier General and United States Congressman Leonard Covington, a hero of the War of 1812. The settlement grew with the advent of the railroad in 1845. Covington incorporated as a city in 1854.
The Covington Historic District and the North Covington Historic District within the city are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The maps and materials describing these two districts are available for review through City Hall. The Covington Historic District contains Floyd Street and the downtown square. The North Covington Historic District contains North Emory Street and Odum Street as its hub. Both districts have an ordinance to preserve their character, regulating changes proposed for properties, and special permits may be required.
The Covington Mill Village is also a vital part of local history. The Starrsville Historic District, site of the historic settlement of Starrsville, is in the exurban area around Covington. The Newton County Courthouse, brick store, and Salem campground are separately NRHP-listed.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Covington GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to view 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 practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Covington GA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 41