How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Glenwood 30428
Earning a physical therapist degree near Glenwood GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Glenwood GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. 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 often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Glenwood GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Glenwood GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Glenwood GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the kind 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 so many PT schools within the Glenwood GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Glenwood GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Glenwood GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Glenwood GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Glenwood health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Glenwood GA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Glenwood GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Glenwood Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Glenwood GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 884 people, 354 households, and 210 families residing in the city. The population density was 279.9 people per square mile (108.0/km²). There were 409 housing units at an average density of 129.5 per square mile (50.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.81% White, 38.24% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 2.04% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.60% of the population.
There were 354 households out of which 31.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.4% were non-families. 37.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 24.8% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.4 males.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Glenwood GA
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Glenwood GA.
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