How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Locust Grove 30248
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Locust Grove GA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality 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 home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. 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?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Locust Grove GA private practices, hospitals, 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 people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Locust Grove GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Locust Grove GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can 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 most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed 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 Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Locust Grove GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Locust Grove GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Locust Grove GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Locust Grove GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Locust Grove GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Locust Grove healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Locust Grove GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Locust Grove GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Locust Grove Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Locust Grove GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Locust Grove, Georgia
Locust Grove is a city in Henry County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,402 at the 2010 census, up from 2,322 in 2000. Some unincorporated communities such as Luella and many rural areas surround Locust Grove, and those communities have Locust Grove postal addresses.
The city of Locust Grove derived its name from a grove of locust trees that could be seen throughout the town. Locust Grove was a major rail distribution center for cotton, peaches and other farm products. The city had three cotton gins and several warehouses. In 1870, the first store was built on Main Street. Since that time many new businesses have moved to Locust Grove.
In 1893, the town was incorporated and the papers were officially signed on December 20, 1893. The original city limit extended one mile north and south from the train depot in the heart of town and a half-mile east and west of the railroad. The city government consisted of a mayor and five council members. The first to fill these positions were appointed until elections could take place. The first mayor was M.P. Sowell. Those appointed to the first city council were G.P. Combs, C.M. Mahone, J.L. Garnder, R.C. Brown and W.H. Peek. The first city clerk was C. W. Williams.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Locust Grove GA
Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools 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 practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Locust Grove GA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 36