How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Louisville 30434
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Louisville GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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 practice in a variety of settings, including Louisville GA private practices, hospitals, 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Louisville GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become 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 short explanations of degrees that are available in the Louisville GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can 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 provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Louisville GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Louisville GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned 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 enroll in an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Louisville GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Louisville GA area? If a school 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 confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Louisville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Louisville healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Louisville GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Louisville GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Louisville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Louisville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Louisville is a city in Jefferson County, Georgia, United States. It is a former state capital of Georgia and is the county seat of Jefferson County. It is located southwest of Augusta on the Ogeechee River, and its population was 2,493 at the 2010 census, down from 2,712 at the 2000 census. The name is of French origin, but is pronounced "Lewis-ville".
Louisville was incorporated on January 26, 1786, as the prospective state capital. Savannah had served as the colonial capital, but was considered too far from the center of population in the growing state. Louisville was named for Louis XVI, who was still the King of France and had aided the Continentals during the successful American Revolutionary War. Development of the city began later, and its state government buildings were completed in 1795. An old Revolutionary War Soldiers Cemetery is located on the western side of town.
The city of Louisville served as the state capital of Georgia from 1796 to 1806. It was a center of trade, legislators and political influence. The Jefferson County courthouse, built in 1904, stands on the site of Georgia's first permanent capitol building.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy School near Louisville GA
Choosing the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Louisville GA.
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