How to Choose a Physical Therapy Training Program near Dallas 30132
Getting a physical therapist degree near Dallas GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Dallas GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Dallas GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Dallas GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding 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 Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dallas GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Dallas GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick 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 therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
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 previously stated, 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Dallas GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It might 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out 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 help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dallas GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Dallas GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Dallas medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Dallas GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide 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 need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dallas GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dallas Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dallas GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dallas is a city in, and the county seat of, Paulding County, Georgia, United States. The estimated population, as of 2010, was 12,629. Dallas is a northwestern suburb of Atlanta, located approximately 30 miles from downtown. It was named for George M. Dallas, Vice President of the United States of America, under James K. Polk.
Dallas was designated the new county seat in 1852 by the inferior court of the county. It was incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on February 8, 1854, on 40 acres (160,000 m2) purchased from Garrett H. Spinks on May 14, 1852, for $1000. Its first commissioners were James H. Ballinger, James S. Hackett, Hezekiah Harrison, John S. Poole, and Garrett H. Spinks.
Comcast Channel 24 airs news, information, upcoming event descriptions, dates and times, and photos of other events. The government-access television (GATV) cable TV channel provides key information to residents of Dallas and Paulding County. It also airs shorts on how to conserve water and electricity as well as messages from the mayor and other city board members.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Dallas GA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. 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. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dallas GA.
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