How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Riceboro 31323
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Riceboro GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. 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 work in diverse locations, such as Riceboro GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Riceboro GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Riceboro GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Riceboro GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Riceboro GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 obtain 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, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting 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 also. Call several Riceboro GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with 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 relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Riceboro GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Riceboro GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Riceboro health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Riceboro GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically 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 aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants 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 beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Riceboro GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Riceboro Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Riceboro GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 809 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 90.6% Black, 5.9% White, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander and 1.6% from two or more races. 1.6% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 736 people, 256 households, and 190 families residing in the city. The population density was 66.4 people per square mile (25.6/km²). There were 292 housing units at an average density of 26.3 per square mile (10.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 10.33% White and 88.72% African American.
There were 256 households out of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 21.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were non-families. 23.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.42.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Riceboro GA
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Riceboro GA.
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