Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Hinesville GA

How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Hinesville 31310

Hinesville GA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Hinesville GA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. 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 before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence 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 the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Hinesville GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Hinesville GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Hinesville GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Hinesville GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Hinesville GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding 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 Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Hinesville GAWhile 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. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hinesville GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Hinesville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Hinesville GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hinesville GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Hinesville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Hinesville medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Hinesville GA home. Individuals who have chosen 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. 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hinesville GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hinesville Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hinesville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Hinesville, Georgia

Hinesville is a city in Liberty County, Georgia, United States. The population was 33,437 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Liberty County.[4] Nearby Fort Stewart and the principal city of Hinesville are part of the Hinesville-Fort Stewart metropolitan statistical area, which comprises all of Liberty County and neighboring Long County.

Hinesville was founded in 1837. That same year, the seat of Liberty County was transferred to Hinesville from Riceboro. It was incorporated as a city in 1916.[5] The city is named for Charleton Hines, a state senator.[6][7]

Hinesville is located next to the Atlantic coast which has an abundance of coastal streams and waterways. It is known for its pine trees, oaks, deer, wild hogs, and other wildlife. The Cay Creek Wetlands is a waterway that sits in Midway, Georgia and Hinesville in which can be seen nature and the historical Liberty Trail. It is the second largest city on U.S. Route 84 in Georgia after Valdosta. It is 58 miles west from U.S. Route 84 eastern terminus and 275 miles east of Dothan, Alabama. Hineville was founded by Samuel Bethea Jr.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy School near Hinesville GA

Deciding on the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Hinesville GA.

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