How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Douglas 31533
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Douglas GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Douglas GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Douglas GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise 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 entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Douglas GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Douglas GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, 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 Douglas GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Douglas GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean 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 Douglas GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Douglas GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Douglas health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Douglas GA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Douglas GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Douglas Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Douglas GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Douglas is a city in Coffee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 11,589. Douglas is the county seat of Coffee County and the core city of the Douglas, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 50,731 as of the 2010 census.
Douglas was founded in 1855 as the seat of the newly formed Coffee County. It was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois, a renowned stump speaker who was the challenger to Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860.
Douglas was chartered as a town in 1895 and as a city in 1897. In 1895, the railroad came to Douglas and the community began to boom. In 1909, the Georgia and Florida Railway located its offices in Douglas.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist College near Douglas GA
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to 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 following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Douglas GA.
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