How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Montezuma 31063
Getting a physical therapist degree near Montezuma GA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing 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 should not do is enroll in 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 cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Montezuma GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- 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 Montezuma GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Montezuma GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Montezuma GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Montezuma GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned 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 select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Montezuma GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Montezuma GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Montezuma GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Montezuma healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average student to teacher 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 talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Montezuma GA home. Those who have opted 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 bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Montezuma GA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Montezuma Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Montezuma GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Montezuma is a city in Macon County, Georgia (ZIP code 31063). The population was 3,460 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 13.5% since 2000. It is home to the armory of Bravo Company, 648th Engineers of the Georgia Army National Guard.
Montezuma was named after the famous Aztec leader by soldiers returning from the Mexican War (1846–48). It was incorporated in 1854. It is also home to a thriving Mennonite community, because ten to fifteen Mennonite families moved from Virginia in the 1950s. These ten to fifteen families quickly became over 100 families sharing two to three common surnames: Yoder, Kaufman, and Overholt. They are at times criticized for marrying close family members. In more recent times the variety and number of surnames has increased to over 20 unique names. Children of the Mennonite community generally graduate from school after the 8th grade. However, some go on through 12th grade and pursue a degree in college. Boys will typically continue to learn their fathers' trade and girls will begin learning to sew and cook and are generally married by 18 to 20 years of age with parental consent per Georgia law.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.7 km²), of which, 4.5 square miles (11.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.66%) is water.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Montezuma GA
Picking the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Montezuma GA.
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