How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Lawrenceville 30042
Earning a physical therapist degree near Lawrenceville GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Lawrenceville GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Lawrenceville GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Lawrenceville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lawrenceville GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring 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.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Lawrenceville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, 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 may also obtain 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 simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through 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 and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Lawrenceville GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lawrenceville GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose 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 every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy 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 as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have relationships with Lawrenceville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Lawrenceville medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Lawrenceville GA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lawrenceville GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lawrenceville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lawrenceville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Lawrenceville is a city in and the county seat of Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. It is a suburb of Atlanta, located approximately 30 miles (48 km) northeast of downtown. As of the 2010 census, the population of Lawrenceville was 28,546. In 2015, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city population to be 30,493. Lawrenceville has six ZIP codes (30042-30046, 30049), and it is part of the 678/770/404 telephone area code, which is used throughout metropolitan Atlanta.
Lawrenceville was incorporated by an act of the Georgia General Assembly on December 15, 1821. This makes Lawrenceville the second oldest city in the metropolitan Atlanta area. The city is named after Commodore James Lawrence, commander of the frigate Chesapeake during the War of 1812. Lawrence, a native of New Jersey, is probably best known today for his dying command, "Don't give up the ship!" William Maltbie, the town's first postmaster, suggested the name of "Lawrenceville."
In 1821, a permanent site for the county courthouse was selected and purchased, the four streets bordering the square were laid out along with other streets in the village, and a public well was dug. Major Grace built the first permanent courthouse, a brick structure, in 1823-24 for a cost of $4,000. The courthouse presently on the square was constructed in 1885.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Lawrenceville GA
Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Lawrenceville GA.
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