How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Homer 30547
Getting a physical therapist degree near Homer GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 diverse locations, such as Homer GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Homer GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. 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 thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Homer GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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 an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Homer GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Homer GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist 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 organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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 also. Call some Homer GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Homer GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Homer GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Homer healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Homer GA residence. 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 local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Homer GA area, check 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, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Homer Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Homer GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Homer is a town in Banks County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,141 at the 2010 census. The town of Homer has a mayor, Doug Cheek, and five councilpersons: Jerry Payne, Cliff Hill, David Dunson, Sandra Garrison and James Dumas. The town is the county seat of Banks County.
Homer is among the earliest to hold the world record for an Easter egg hunt - 80,000 eggs, listed in the 1985 Guinness Book of World Records. The event in the small town of 1,100 people is an Easter Sunday tradition that has lasted 47 years. The egg hunt each year draws about 5,000 egg hunters, children and adults. Even though it no longer holds the record, Homer has long touted its annual hunt as the world's largest.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.7 square miles (25.0 km2), of which 9.6 square miles (24.9 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.38%, is water.
Select the Right Physical Therapy College near Homer GA
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Homer GA.
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