How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Oxford 30054
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Oxford GA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover 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 practice in diverse settings, including Oxford GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Oxford GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Oxford 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing 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 overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oxford GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Oxford GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. 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 critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Oxford GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Oxford GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Oxford GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Oxford health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student 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. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher 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 instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Oxford GA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants 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 too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally 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 evening or weekend classes in the Oxford GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oxford Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oxford GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The town was named after Oxford University, the alma mater of the founders of Oxford College. The entire town is also designated as a shrine of the United Methodist Church. Additionally, Confederate soldiers are buried in a small cemetery on the grounds of Oxford College.
Properties in Oxford listed on the National Register of Historic Places include: Oxford Historic District and the Orna Villa, a mansion, which was built in 1825, which was used as a hospital during the American Civil War.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,892 people, 509 households, and 387 families residing in the city. The population density was 740.0 people per square mile (285.4/km²). There were 534 housing units at an average density of 208.9 per square mile (80.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.62% White, 32.72% African American, 0.42% Native American, 4.07% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.95% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.85% of the population.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Oxford GA
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Oxford GA.
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