How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Jeffersonville 31044
Getting a physical therapist degree near Jeffersonville GA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in 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 satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover 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?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Jeffersonville GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Jeffersonville GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Jeffersonville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Jeffersonville GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Jeffersonville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 program, it can also receive 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting 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 some Jeffersonville GA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Jeffersonville GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. 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 school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Jeffersonville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Jeffersonville health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Jeffersonville GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes 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 consider is that if you choose 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Jeffersonville GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Jeffersonville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Jeffersonville 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 2000, there were 1,209 people, 436 households, and 320 families residing in the city. The population density was 328.8 people per square mile (126.8/km²). There were 496 housing units at an average density of 134.9 per square mile (52.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.72% White, 62.37% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.73% of the population.
There were 436 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 23.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Jeffersonville GA
Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Jeffersonville GA.
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