How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Richmond Hill 31324
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Richmond Hill GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose 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 need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 a variety of locations, such as Richmond Hill GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Richmond Hill GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Richmond Hill 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 attainable 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 before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so 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 necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Richmond Hill GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, 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 Richmond Hill GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’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 agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Richmond Hill GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? 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 low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Richmond Hill GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary 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 additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Richmond Hill GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Richmond Hill medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for 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 prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Richmond Hill GA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Richmond Hill GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Richmond Hill Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Richmond Hill GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Richmond Hill, Georgia
Richmond Hill is a city in Bryan County, Georgia, United States. The population was 9,281 at the 2010 census, up from 6,959 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Richmond Hill is located along the eastern border of Bryan County at 31°56′17″N 81°18′49″W / 31.93806°N 81.31361°W / 31.93806; -81.31361 (31.938151, -81.313750). The Ogeechee River forms the eastern edge of the city (and the county line); an outlying portion of the city of Savannah is on the opposite side of the river.
U.S. Route 17 (Ocean Highway) passes through the city north of the original downtown. Interstate 95 passes through the western edge of the city, with access from Exit 87 (US 17) and Exit 90 (Georgia State Route 144/Ford Avenue). Downtown Savannah is 21 miles (34 km) to the north, and Brunswick is 58 miles (93 km) to the south.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy School near Richmond Hill GA
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Richmond Hill GA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Georgia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 17