How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Oglethorpe 31068
Getting a physical therapy degree near Oglethorpe GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Oglethorpe 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 people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although 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.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Oglethorpe GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered 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 summaries of degree levels that are available in the Oglethorpe 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 offered in the USA. Some practicing 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 Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oglethorpe GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Oglethorpe GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Oglethorpe GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oglethorpe GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Oglethorpe GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Oglethorpe health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Oglethorpe GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Oglethorpe GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oglethorpe Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oglethorpe GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
Fort Oglethorpe is a city predominantly in Catoosa County with some portions in Walker County in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,263. It is part of the Chattanooga, TN–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is home to Lakeview – Fort Oglethorpe High School.
The United States Army established a cavalry post at the site of Hargrave, Georgia, an unincorporated town situated next to the Chickamauga National Battlefield. The existing settlement was named for a Confederate soldier, William Hamilton Hargrave, who along with his wife Amelia Cecilia Strange-Hargrave owned most of the land in the area. The couple was well known in the 19th century to travellers heading to Ross's Landing on the Tennessee River from LaFayette, Georgia. William Hargrave and other landowners in the area were forced to sell their property to the Army to be used as a base for the 6th Cavalry. The Chickamauga Post established in 1902 by the U.S. Army was later named Fort Oglethorpe after James Oglethorpe, the founder of the Colony of Georgia. During World War I and World War II, the area served as a war-time induction and processing center, and also housed German prisoners of war. Fort Oglethorpe was a major training center for the Women's Army Corps during World War II. The post was declared surplus in 1947 and sold to civilians, forming the nucleus for a city that was incorporated in 1949.
Fort Oglethorpe is located in western Catoosa County and northeastern Walker County at 34°56′44″N 85°14′44″W / 34.94556°N 85.24556°W / 34.94556; -85.24556 (34.945683, -85.245653). It is 9 miles (14 km) south of Chattanooga, Tennessee, by U.S. Route 27, which also leads south 18 miles (29 km) to LaFayette, Georgia. The Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park takes up the southern two-thirds of the city's area.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy School near Oglethorpe GA
Picking the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following 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 necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Oglethorpe GA.
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