How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Dalton 30719
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Dalton GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to 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 training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Dalton GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Dalton GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Dalton GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete 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 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 overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dalton GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Dalton GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Dalton GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent 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 couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First 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, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dalton GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Dalton GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Dalton healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Dalton GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dalton GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dalton Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dalton GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dalton is a city in Whitfield County, Georgia, United States. It is the county seat of Whitfield County and the principal city of the Dalton, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Murray and Whitfield counties.
Dalton is home to many of the nation's floor-covering manufacturers, primarily those producing carpet, rugs and vinyl flooring. Like most towns that predate the Civil War, Dalton and the surrounding area saw skirmishes during the conflict. It is home to the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center, which showcases the Georgia Athletic Coaches' Hall of Fame and hosts a variety of events.
Dalton is located at (34.771088, -84.971553). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.8 square miles (51 km2), of which 19.8 square miles (51 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.10%) is water.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Dalton GA
Choosing the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select 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 commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Dalton GA.
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