Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Newton GA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Newton 31770

Newton GA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Newton GA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest 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 address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Newton GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Newton GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Newton GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Newton GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Newton GA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Newton GAWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Newton GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Newton GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’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 as well. Call some Newton GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent 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 Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Newton GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Newton GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Newton medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Newton GA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Newton GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Newton Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Newton GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Newton County, Georgia

Newton county is named after Sgt. John Newton, who served under Gen. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox", in the American Revolutionary War. It was created on December 24, 1821. During the American Civil War, the county provided the Lamar Infantry, which was a part of Cobb's Legion. Newton county adjoins Jasper County, Georgia: Georgia is one of many states that have a Newton County and a Jasper County that border each other.

In late 1978, the first five episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard were filmed in and around Covington, Georgia. The TV series In The Heat of the Night was filmed in Covington from 1988 to 1995. Also, in Remember the Titans, there were many scenes shot on "The Square" and the final football scene was shot at Homer Sharp Stadium, which is located near downtown Covington. Currently part of the new series The Vampire Diaries is being fiimed on "The Square". Additionally, major films including My Cousin Vinny, Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives and Halloween II, Rob Zombie's sequel to his 2007 film Halloween, were also filmed near and around "The Square" in downtown Covington.

Newton county claims to be the birthplace of Georgia 4-H. Actually, the Girls Canning and Boys Corn Clubs in 1904 by G.C. Adams was renamed the 4-H Club in 1906, after the original 4-H Club that opened in Iowa in 1905.

Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Newton GA

Picking the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Newton GA.

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