How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Evans 30809
Getting a physical therapist degree near Evans GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant 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 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 Evans GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Evans 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 bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Evans GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Evans GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Evans GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’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. Get in touch with a few Evans GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Evans GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Evans GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Evans medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Evans GA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Support Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. 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 offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Evans GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Evans Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Evans GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Evans is a census-designated place (CDP) in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Augusta and is part of the Augusta metropolitan area. The population was 29,011 at the 2010 census, up from 17,727 at the 2000 census.
Evans, possibly named after Confederate General Clement A. Evans, is the de facto county seat of Columbia County, although Appling still holds the de jure designation. The Columbia County Government Center, the Government Complex Addition, and the Columbia County Courthouse Annex are all located in Evans.
Evans is located in eastern Columbia County, bordered to the northeast by the Savannah River, which forms the South Carolina state line. To the southeast is the town of Martinez. Downtown Augusta is 11 miles (18 km) to the southeast.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist School near Evans GA
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important first 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 school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Evans GA.
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