How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Eastman 31023
Earning a physical therapy degree near Eastman GA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated 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 necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Eastman GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Eastman GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Eastman GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced 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 even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Eastman GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Eastman GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Eastman GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Eastman GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Eastman GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Eastman healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Eastman GA residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eastman GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Eastman Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Eastman GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Eastman is a city in Dodge County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,962 at the 2010 census. Named after one of the founders who contributed a site and paid for the county courthouse, the city was established in 1871, and is the county seat of Dodge County.
In the 19th century, this was a center of the timber and sawmill industry. During the Great Depression in 1937, the first Stuckey's convenience store, now well known along roadways throughout the Southeastern United States, was founded in Eastman.
The first permanent settlement at Eastman was made in 1840. Eastman grew up as a station of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad which was built through the area in the summer of 1869. Eastman was originally named Levison and was renamed Eastman by December 1869. Eastman was named in 1871 as the seat of the newly formed Dodge County. It was incorporated as a town in 1873 and as a city in 1905. Eastman is named for W. P. Eastman, who, with W. E. Dodge, presented the county with a courthouse.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Eastman GA
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary first 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 school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active 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 following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Eastman GA.
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