How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Rincon 31326
Getting a physical therapist degree near Rincon GA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just 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 cover 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?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Rincon 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Rincon GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Rincon GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Rincon GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Rincon GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to 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 look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Rincon GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Rincon GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Rincon GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Rincon health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Rincon GA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rincon GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rincon Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rincon GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Rincon, in the southeast area of Effingham County, Georgia, was incorporated as a city in 1927. While the earliest settlers came to the area in 1751, the area had little development until the late 19th century.
During the American Civil War, when forces of the Union Army penetrated the South, thousands of slaves escaped from plantations to go to their lines. Many fell in with the forces of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman and followed his March to the Sea. Hundreds of fugitive African-Americans drowned during the campaign while trying to cross Ebenezer Creek near the site of present-day Rincon, outside of Savannah. In 2010 the Georgia Historical Society erected a historical marker about this event, as part of a major project to memorialize little-known events from the Civil War era and recognize African-American sacrifices for freedom.
Rincon's development was catalyzed by the coming of the railroad in the 1890s. A rail line was built from the Carolinas across the state line at the Savannah River and southward to Savannah. The name of the city is believed to have been adopted from the Spanish or Mexican name Rincón, after a small but prosperous town in Mexico. (Rincón means "corner.")
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Rincon GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rincon GA.
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