How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Peachtree City 30269
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Peachtree City GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Peachtree City GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Peachtree City GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, 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. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Peachtree City GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can 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 typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Peachtree City GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. 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 motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Peachtree City GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Peachtree City GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might 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 find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Peachtree City 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 excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Peachtree City GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain 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 establish professional relationships in the Peachtree City health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear 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 therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Peachtree City GA residence. Students who have opted 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Peachtree City GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Peachtree City Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Peachtree City GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Peachtree City, Georgia
Peachtree City is located in western Fayette County in the southern Atlanta metro area. It is bordered to the west by Coweta County and to the north by the city of Tyrone. It is crossed by Georgia State Route 74, Georgia State Route 34, and Georgia State Route 54. SR 54 leads east 10 miles (16 km) to Fayetteville, the county seat, and southwest 17 miles (27 km) to Luthersville. Newnan is 12 miles (19 km) to the west via SR 54 and SR 34. SR 74, the Joel Cowan Parkway, runs through the west side of Peachtree City, leading north 6 miles (10 km) to Tyrone and 11 miles (18 km) to Interstate 85 near Fairburn. Downtown Atlanta is 31 miles (50 km) to the north via SR 74 and I-85.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Peachtree City has a total area of 25.4 square miles (65.9 km2), of which 24.6 square miles (63.6 km2) is land and 0.93 square miles (2.4 km2), or 3.57%, is water. The city is in the watershed of Line Creek, which forms the western city boundary and county line, and is a south-flowing tributary of the Flint River.
Peachtree City has three lakes. Lake Kedron to the north is a reservoir that supplies Lake Peachtree to the south via Flat Creek. Lake Kedron is owned by the Fayette County Authority, and is managed so as to keep Lake Peachtree full whenever there is a lack of rain and still allow for recreational use of the lake during droughts. Lake Kedron is not afforded any recreational use except for fishing. Lake McIntosh, the newest lake, close to Planterra, has now reached full pool.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Peachtree City GA
Selecting the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical 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 ultimate decision. You may want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach 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 field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Peachtree City GA.
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