Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Lithia Springs GA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Lithia Springs 30122

Lithia Springs GA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Lithia Springs GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn 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 looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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?

Lithia Springs GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Lithia Springs GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share 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 struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Lithia Springs GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely 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

Lithia Springs GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Lithia Springs GA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lithia Springs GAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lithia Springs GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Lithia Springs GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Lithia Springs GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea 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 relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lithia Springs GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Lithia Springs GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Lithia Springs health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Lithia Springs GA home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have 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 don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lithia Springs GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lithia Springs Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lithia Springs GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Lithia Springs, Georgia

Lithia Springs is a census-designated place and unincorporated area, formerly incorporated as a city, located in northeastern Douglas County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the community had a population of 15,491.[3] The area is named for its historic "lithia" mineral water springs.

Incorporated in 1882, Lithia Springs was dissolved the first time in 1933. Lithia Springs became incorporated again in 1994, to be Douglas County's second completely internal municipality, but disincorporated again in 2001.

In 2001, the citizens voted (80% yea, 20% nay) on March 20 to dissolve the city charter and de-incorporate the city, transferring all assets to the county. The referendum that ended the town was part of the settlement in a lawsuit brought by city residents charging the city should be dissolved because it did not deliver enough services to justify its existence under state law. During its incorporation until 2001, the former city had five mayors.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Lithia Springs GA

Choosing the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Lithia Springs GA.

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