How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Forest Park 30297
Getting a physical therapist degree near Forest Park GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Forest Park GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Forest Park GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Forest Park GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure 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 in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Forest Park GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Forest Park GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Forest Park GA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with 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 two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Forest Park GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Forest Park GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Forest Park health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Forest Park GA home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Forest Park GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 Forest Park Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Forest Park GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Forest Park, Georgia
Forest Park is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. It is located approximately nine miles (14 km) south of Atlanta and is part of the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 18,468.
Originally the third stop from Atlanta on the Macon and Western Railroad, the city was incorporated in 1908. The 1,465-acre (5.93 km2) Fort Gillem was founded nearby in 1941 and was annexed into the city in 1973.
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,468 people, 6,877 households, and 4,839 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,990.9 people per square mile (882.8/km²). There were 7,233 housing units at an average density of 771.5 per square mile (297.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 19.2% White, 37.7% African American, 0.50% Native American, 7.9% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.3% of the population.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Forest Park GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish 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 best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Forest Park GA.
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