How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Nicholls 31554
Getting a physical therapy degree near Nicholls GA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Nicholls GA hospitals, health clinics, 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 struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Nicholls GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Nicholls GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Nicholls GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Nicholls GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Nicholls GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Nicholls GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Nicholls GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, 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 Nicholls medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Nicholls GA home. Students who have decided 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often 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 form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Nicholls GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Nicholls Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Nicholls GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Nicholls is a city in Coffee County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,798 as of the 2010 census, up from 1,008 in 2000, due to counting of the Coffee County Correctional Facility population within the city limits. This facility is privately owned and operated by CoreCivic.
Nicholls is located near the eastern border of Coffee County at 31°31′1″N 82°38′16″W / 31.51694°N 82.63778°W / 31.51694; -82.63778 (31.516941, -82.637654).Georgia State Route 32 passes through the community, leading west 13 miles (21 km) to Douglas, the county seat, and east 10 miles (16 km) to Alma.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,008 people, 406 households, and 278 families residing in the city. The population density was 646.4 people per square mile (249.5/km²). There were 500 housing units at an average density of 320.6 per square mile (123.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 55.36% White, 43.55% African American, 0.40% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.50% from other races, and 0.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.19% of the population.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Nicholls GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses 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 be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Nicholls GA.
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