How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Dublin 31021
Earning a physical therapist degree near Dublin GA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare 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 work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest 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 address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Dublin GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Dublin GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, 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 Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Dublin 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 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 requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dublin GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Dublin GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online program, 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 just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing 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 School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Dublin GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dublin GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Dublin GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on training 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 students and graduates form professional relationships in the Dublin healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Dublin GA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Help Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dublin GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dublin Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dublin GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The original settlement was named after Dublin, Ireland. Because of Dublin's location as a midpoint between Savannah and Atlanta, the town in recent decades became home to a small assortment of industrial distribution centers, which complemented various industries—textiles, furniture, and paper, among others—that had already established themselves there in the second half of the 20th century. Historically, however, Dublin's economy was based on the local cotton, corn, and soybean trades, which blossomed as the town's central location enabled it to thrive with the growth of the railroad.
Originally, Dublin and the surrounding area was home to Native Americans of the Muscogee people. Most of them fled westward with the arrival of European settlers, many of them organizing themselves into armed resistance units which fought government forces and British militias to protect their native territory well into the early 19th century. Ultimately, most of the Muscogee diaspora settled in what is now Oklahoma.
Despite the Irish ancestry of Dublin's first non-indigenous settlers, the town, like most of Middle Georgia, by the late 19th century had evolved from mixture of ethnicities. Most of the population descended from Scottish, English, and other western European immigrants. The considerable African-American population descended from most of whose roots lay in Angola or throughout west Africa. By the end of the 20th century, the town had also become home to a growing population of recent immigrants, many of them professionals from India, Korea, and Latin America. As labor migrations from Mexico and Central America shifted from the southwest U.S. to much of the southeast, many immigrants from those regions also moved to Dublin in the first decade of the 21st century.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Dublin GA
Picking the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Dublin GA.
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