How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Duluth 30026
Earning a physical therapy degree near Duluth GA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet 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 must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 practice in varying locations, such as Duluth GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Duluth GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Duluth GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the considerable 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Duluth GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Duluth GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Duluth GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Duluth GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While 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 additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Duluth GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on 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 assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Duluth medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Duluth GA residence. Students who have decided 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. Something 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Duluth GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Duluth Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Duluth GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Duluth is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, Duluth had a population of 26,600, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population to be 29,331 as of 2016.
Duluth is located north of Interstate 85. It is home to Gwinnett Place Mall, the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center, Infinite Energy Arena, Hudgens Center for the Arts, and the Red Clay Theater. It is also home to Gwinnett Medical Center–Duluth, an 81-bed hospital constructed in 2006, as well as GMC's Glancy Campus, a 30-bed facility located near downtown. The agricultural manufacturer AGCO is based in Duluth.
Duluth was originally Cherokee territory. When Duluth was established in the early 19th century, it was primarily forest land occupied by tribespeople. An Indian trail, called Old Peachtree Road by the settlers, was extended through the area during the War of 1812 to connect Fort Peachtree in present-day Atlanta with Fort Daniel near present-day Dacula. When Gwinnett County was established in 1818, white settlement of the area accelerated.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Duluth GA
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Duluth GA.
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