How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Ringgold 30736
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Ringgold GA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients 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 necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Ringgold GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Ringgold GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Ringgold GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Ringgold GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Ringgold GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Ringgold GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Ringgold 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 verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Ringgold GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means 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 help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Ringgold healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Ringgold GA residence. Individuals who have chosen 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need 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 don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Ringgold GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ringgold Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ringgold GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Ringgold is a city in Catoosa County, Georgia, United States. Its population was 3,580 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Catoosa County. It is part of the Chattanooga, Tennessee–GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Ringgold is where The General locomotive stopped during the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. Ringgold is also home to the historic Ringgold Depot, which still contains bullet marks from the Civil War.
The Battle of Ringgold Gap took place on November 27, 1863. Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne with 4,100 men used the mountain pass known as the Ringgold Gap to stall the advance of Union Major General Joseph Hooker and his troops. Hooker's troops were over 12,000 strong. It was a Confederate victory because it allowed Confederate artillery and wagon trains to move safely through the Ringgold Gap unharmed while inflicting high Union casualties.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Ringgold GA
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Ringgold GA.
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