How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Midland 31820
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Midland GA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Midland GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Midland GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, 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 Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Midland GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to 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 important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more 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 college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Midland GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, 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 Midland GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’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 organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Midland GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 Midland GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program 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 imperative that the college you select furnishes both superior 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Midland GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Midland healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Midland GA residence. 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 local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Midland GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Midland Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Midland GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Georgia Midland and Gulf Railroad
The Georgia Midland and Gulf Railroad was chartered in 1885 and began operations in 1887, running from Columbus, GA to McDonough, GA. In 1890, the line leased the Columbus Southern Railway but was forced to cancel the lease a year later due to financial issues. The GM&G finally entered bankruptcy in 1895 and was sold to the Georgia Midland Railway which was founded in 1896 to take over the failed Georgia Midland and Gulf Railroad, the Georgia Midland Railway operated about 100 miles of rail from McDonough, GA to Columbus, GA. The railroad didn't even last a full year when it was leased to the Southern Railway, but it remained a subsidiary until it was merged into the Norfolk Southern Railway in 1996.
It ran from McDonough in the north through several communities in Henry County, GA such as Greenwood and Luella into northern Spalding County, GA passing through Experiment, GA and crossing the Central of Georgia Railroad in Griffin, GA. From there it ran south toward Williamson, GA in Pike County, crossing the old A&F line, and on into Concord, GA then on into Meriwether County, GA where it passed through Woodbury, GA. It then continued south toward and through Warm Springs, GA and then further south into Columbus, GA. Portions of this line still exist, mostly from McDonough to Greenwood (Liberty), and from the northern Spalding County line near the old Towaliga Station toward Experiment. This section is currently being refurbished by the Roosevelt Railroad. Then from Griffin south to Georgia State Route 362. Most all the other stretches have been pulled up.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist College near Midland GA
Selecting the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Midland GA.
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