How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Grovetown 30813
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Grovetown GA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Grovetown GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people 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 resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Grovetown GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Grovetown GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more 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 close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Grovetown GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like 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 because there are so many PT colleges within the Grovetown GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online program, it may also receive 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, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Grovetown GA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
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 therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Grovetown 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 exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have associations with Grovetown GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Grovetown health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Grovetown GA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Grovetown GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Grovetown Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Grovetown GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Grovetown is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta metropolitan area and the Central Savannah River Area. In the 2013 United States Census estimates, it had a population of 12,389. The mayor is Gary Jones.
Grovetown is located in southern Columbia County at 33°26′58″N 82°11′49″W / 33.44944°N 82.19694°W / 33.44944; -82.19694 (33.449324, -82.196972). Downtown Augusta is 15 miles (24 km) east. The northern boundary of Fort Gordon is 2 miles (3 km) south.
Grovetown is mainly served by Georgia State Route 223 (SR 223), known as Robinson Avenue from just northwest of Fort Gordon's Gate 2 to the intersection with Harlem–Grovetown Road, and SR 388, known as Wrightsboro Road past this point. At this intersection, SR 388 takes on the Wrightsboro Road name until it meets Katherine Street. At this intersection, the highway turns left onto Horizon South Parkway, while Wrightsboro Road continues toward Augusta. Harlem–Grovetown Road connects the city with Harlem.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist School near Grovetown GA
Choosing the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with active 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 additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options 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 Grovetown GA.
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