How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Hartwell 30643
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Hartwell GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary 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 college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver 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 home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Hartwell 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hartwell GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering 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
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Hartwell GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced 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 before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of 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 in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hartwell GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Hartwell GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Hartwell GA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important 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 mean 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 help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hartwell GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Hartwell GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Hartwell healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools 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 final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Hartwell GA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hartwell GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hartwell Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hartwell GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hartwell is located in central Hart County at 34°21′10″N 82°55′52″W / 34.35278°N 82.93111°W / 34.35278; -82.93111 (34.352738, -82.931161). It sits 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Lake Hartwell, which acquired its name from the city. Hartwell is in the Piedmont region of Georgia, or the Upland South, and lies 30 miles (48 km) southeast of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Toccoa.
U.S. Route 29 passes through the center of Hartwell, leading east 7 miles (11 km) to the South Carolina border at Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River, and southwest 12 miles (19 km) to Royston. Anderson, South Carolina, is 23 miles (37 km) to the northeast via US 29, and Athens, Georgia, is 43 miles (69 km) to the southwest. Georgia State Route 51 also passes through Hartwell, leading north 7 miles (11 km) to Reed Creek and west 9 miles (14 km) to Bowersville.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,469 people. There were 2,266 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 61.33% White, 34.53% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.07% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Hartwell GA
Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach 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 best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Hartwell GA.
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