How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Edison 31746
Getting a physical therapist degree near Edison GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Edison 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 patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Edison GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Edison GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some 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 instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Edison GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Edison GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify 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 mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Edison GA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Edison GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both superior training and a course of study 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Edison GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Edison health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Edison GA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Edison GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Edison Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Edison GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Edison is a city in Calhoun County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,531 at the 2010 census. The Edison Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Edison is located in northwestern Calhoun County at 31°33′39″N 84°44′17″W / 31.56083°N 84.73806°W / 31.56083; -84.73806 (31.560891, -84.737984). It is 40 miles (64 km) west of Albany and 20 miles (32 km) east of the Alabama line at Fort Gaines.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,340 people, 512 households, and 334 families residing in the city. The population density was 575.9 people per square mile (222.1/km²). There were 584 housing units at an average density of 251.0 per square mile (96.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 31.94% White, 67.69% African American, and 0.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.27% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Edison GA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Edison GA.
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