How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Greenville 30222
Getting a physical therapy degree near Greenville GA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover 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 a variety of locations, including Greenville 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Greenville GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Greenville GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Greenville GA home. 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 alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Greenville GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 enroll in an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call several Greenville GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Greenville GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Greenville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Greenville healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Greenville GA residence. Students who have chosen 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Greenville GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Greenville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Greenville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Greenville is a city in Meriwether County, Georgia, United States. The population was 946 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Meriwether County and is located 54.9 miles (88.4 km) southwest of Atlanta. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area (Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area).
As of the census of 2000, there were 946 people, 354 households, and 236 families residing in the city. The population density was 520.8 people per square mile (200.7/km²). There were 432 housing units at an average density of 237.8 per square mile (91.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 26.43% White, 73.15% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.11% Pacific Islander, and 0.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.32% of the population.
There were 354 households out of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.5% were married couples living together, 29.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.35.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Greenville GA
Selecting the best physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Greenville GA.
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