How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Irwinton 31042
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Irwinton GA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to ensure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. 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 varying settings, including Irwinton GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Irwinton GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Irwinton GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases 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 common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Irwinton GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Irwinton GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning 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 also. Contact several Irwinton GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Irwinton GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Irwinton GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Irwinton medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Irwinton GA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Irwinton GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Irwinton Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Irwinton GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2010, there were 583 people, 231 households, and 152 families residing in the city. The population density was 185 people per square mile (71.9/km²). There were 271 housing units at an average density of 86.1 per square mile (33.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 42.01% White, 57.01% African American, and 0.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.68% of the population.
There were 231 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 25.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 32.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 88.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist School near Irwinton GA
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Irwinton GA.
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