Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Pine Mountain GA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Pine Mountain 31822

Pine Mountain GA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Pine Mountain GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Pine Mountain GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Pine Mountain GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients 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 address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Pine Mountain GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Pine Mountain GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Pine Mountain GA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Pine Mountain GAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pine Mountain GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Pine Mountain GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Pine Mountain GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Pine Mountain GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Pine Mountain GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Pine Mountain healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Pine Mountain GA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pine Mountain GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pine Mountain Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pine Mountain GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Pine Mountain, Georgia

Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Pine Mountain GA

Selecting the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Pine Mountain GA.

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