How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Pooler 31322
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Pooler GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Pooler GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Pooler GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Pooler GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of 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 implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Pooler GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Pooler GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason 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 Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Pooler GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pooler GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Pooler GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Pooler healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Pooler GA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Pooler GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pooler Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pooler GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pooler is a city in Chatham County, Georgia, United States. According to 2010 US Census, the population was 19,140, a threefold increase over the 2000 count of 6,239. The 2013 population estimate was 21,187. Pooler is located northwest of Savannah along I-95 and Interstate 16.
During the Civil War, Pooler was a railway stop called Pooler's Station—the last stop before Savannah on the Central of Georgia Railway. In December 1864, Pooler was a meeting place for Union officers led by William Tecumseh Sherman, who negotiated with Savannah authorities for the strategic port city's peaceful surrender.
Today, Pooler is the center for commercial development in west Chatham County. Godley Station, the center for business development, has been successful in attracting large companies such as construction equipment manufacturer JCB to the area. Newer shopping centers such as The Shops at Godley Station are bringing new revenue to the area. Low crime and a small-town community atmosphere have all been factors in its explosive growth. Pooler is now one of Georgia's fastest-growing cities.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Pooler GA
Choosing the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pooler GA.
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