How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Hardwick 31034
Earning a physical therapist degree near Hardwick GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just 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 considered besides 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Hardwick GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Hardwick GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Hardwick GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hardwick GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, 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 alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Hardwick GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also earn 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 organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Hardwick GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea 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 Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hardwick GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both excellent 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Hardwick GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Hardwick medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Hardwick GA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hardwick GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hardwick Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hardwick GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Hardwick GA
Picking the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hardwick GA.
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