How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Pine Lake 30072
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Pine Lake GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not 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 important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Pine Lake GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues 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:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Pine Lake GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Pine Lake GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pine Lake GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable 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 advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Pine Lake GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all 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 organization. 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Pine Lake GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea 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 useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pine Lake GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Pine Lake GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Pine Lake health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Pine Lake GA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pine Lake GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pine Lake Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pine Lake GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pine Lake, Georgia
Pine Lake was established as a city in December 1937, after a short life as a summer retreat run by the Pine Woods Corporation. The corporation sold lots around a small fishing lake to Atlantans who lived in (then) faraway areas like Buckhead for use as a weekend retreat. The 20' x 100' lots sold for $69, and the advertisement for lots directed people "from Decatur down the [unpaved] Rockbridge Road East." Many homeowners continued to use their property as a weekend getaway long after the city incorporated. Prior to development, Pine Lake was a portion of a farm. The lake was formerly a widened region of Snapfinger Creek, and the valley that encompasses much of the town was where corn was grown. The lake was dammed by the Army Corp of Engineers as erosion and flood control, prior to the official FDR lake projects.
As of the census of 2000, there were 621 people, 321 households, and 139 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,293.0 people per square mile (1,261.9/km²). There were 349 housing units at an average density of 1,850.7 per square mile (709.2/km²). The population data was challenged in 2002 and the Census agreed that the housing units were under surveyed. The insufficient survey was due to the lack of postal delivery in the city (as with cities with fewer than 750 individual units). The Tax digest listed 690 houses. Since no official survey was done on all households, the Census did not change the population. The racial makeup of the city was 74.72% White, 17.55% African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 3.54% from other races, and 3.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.76% of the population.
There were 321 households out of which 18.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 26.5% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 56.4% were non-families. 39.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.93 and the average family size was 2.58.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Pine Lake GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pine Lake GA.
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