How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Kingsland 31548
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Kingsland GA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just 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 in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Kingsland GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Kingsland GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Kingsland GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be 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 degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kingsland GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Kingsland GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school 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. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Kingsland GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kingsland GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Kingsland GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Kingsland healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Kingsland GA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kingsland GA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kingsland Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kingsland GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The Kingsland Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places March 17, 1994. It includes the area surrounding South Lee Street between King Street and William Street.
In 1788, the King family bought large amounts of land west of St. Marys and named the plantation Woodlawn. The great-grandson of John King, William King, later built a home on "King's Land." On Christmas Day in 1893 the first passenger train (the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad, today's CSX Railroad) rolled into Camden County right across King’s property. As Mr. William King's house was the only one in sight, the railroad company named the area “Kings Land.” With the coming of the railroad, people from all areas began to build in and around Kings Land setting a new era in motion. After the railroad was developed, William Henry King mapped out the town to be located on his property and named it in his honor. Stores and businesses were open and he became the first mayor when the City of Kingsland was incorporated in 1908. Presumably, this was when the town’s two-word title became only one word. The first Kingsland newspaper was published on April 5, 1895 by the Southeast Georgian.
In 1928, the nation's first Maine to Miami road, known in Georgia as the Dixie Highway, was being planned, although it wouldn’t open and pass through Kingsland until 1927. Until that time most people used the St Marys River ferry to cross between St Marys and Kingsland. Before the widespread use of automobiles, water traffic was an essential means of transportation for the residents and businesses of Camden County.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Kingsland GA
Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish 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 field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Kingsland GA.
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