How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Monroe 30655
Earning a physical therapist degree near Monroe GA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Monroe GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Monroe GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Monroe GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Monroe GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Monroe GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Monroe GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean 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 Monroe GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. 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 school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have relationships with Monroe GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Monroe health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Monroe GA residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Monroe GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn 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 Monroe Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Monroe GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Monroe is a city in and the county seat of Walton County, Georgia, United States. It is located 40 minutes east of Atlanta via US-78 and I-20 westbound and 50 minutes east of Hartsfield Jackson Int'l Airport and is part of the suburban cities in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Monroe is also a city known for its film industry such as the filming of Hidden Figures. The population was 13,234 at the 2010 census and 13,478 at the 2016 census.
Monroe was the premier cotton producer in the state of Georgia during the 1900s. The two main cotton mills in Monroe used to be the driving economic force in the region. Now the mills no longer produce for the cotton industry, but rather serve as economic engines for the region by showcasing premiere antique markets, event space, and other unique retail.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 13,234 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 51.8% White, 42.2% Black, 0.1% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from some other race and 1.6% from two or more races. 3.4% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy School near Monroe GA
Deciding on the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final 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 important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Monroe GA.
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