How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Mount Vernon 30445
Earning a physical therapy degree near Mount Vernon GA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Mount Vernon GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Mount Vernon GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Mount Vernon 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced 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 existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Mount Vernon GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may 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 several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Mount Vernon GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Mount Vernon GA physical therapy 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 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 colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 Mount Vernon GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Mount Vernon GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Mount Vernon health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 talk with some 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 therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Mount Vernon GA residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mount Vernon GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mount Vernon Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mount Vernon GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Mount Vernon, Georgia
Mount Vernon is located at 32°10′53″N 82°35′38″W / 32.18139°N 82.59389°W / 32.18139; -82.59389 (32.181403, -82.593759). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.1 square miles (10.7 km²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,082 people, 704 households, and 461 families residing in the city. The population density was 505.4 people per square mile (195.1/km²). There were 840 housing units at an average density of 203.9 per square mile (78.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.34% White, 41.83% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.82% from other races, and 0.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.59% of the population.
There were 704 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.5% were married couples living together, 19.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 28.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.19.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Mount Vernon GA
Choosing the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Mount Vernon GA.
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