How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Pendergrass 30567
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Pendergrass GA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many 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 evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address 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 Pendergrass GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Pendergrass GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Pendergrass GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Pendergrass GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Pendergrass GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive 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 essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Pendergrass GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Pendergrass GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Pendergrass GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Pendergrass health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Pendergrass GA home. Those who have opted 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Pendergrass GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pendergrass Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pendergrass GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pendergrass is located in northwestern Jackson County at 34°9′51″N 83°40′52″W / 34.16417°N 83.68111°W / 34.16417; -83.68111 (34.164223, -83.681047). It is bordered to the southeast by Jefferson, the county seat, and to the northwest by Talmo. U.S. Route 129 passes through the northeast side of the city, leading northwest 14 miles (23 km) to Gainesville and southeast through Jefferson 24 miles (39 km) to Athens.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Pendergrass has a total area of 3.1 square miles (7.9 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.48%, are water. The city is part of the Middle Oconee River watershed.
As of the census of 2000, there were 431 people, 156 households, and 117 families residing in the city. The population density was 212.8 people per square mile (82.4/km²). There were 171 housing units at an average density of 84.4 per square mile (32.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.14% White, 0.93% Native American, 0.46% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.18% of the population.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Pendergrass GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pendergrass GA.
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