How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Rochelle 31079
Earning a physical therapy degree near Rochelle GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Rochelle GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Rochelle GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Rochelle GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Rochelle GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Rochelle GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Rochelle GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. 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 important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Rochelle GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Rochelle GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Rochelle health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student 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 a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Rochelle GA home. Those who have chosen 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rochelle GA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rochelle Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rochelle GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,415 people, 552 households, and 379 families residing in the city. The population density was 754.3 people per square mile (290.6/km²). There were 642 housing units at an average density of 342.3 per square mile (131.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.08% White, 52.79% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.35% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.84% of the population.
There were 552 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 23.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.3% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.2% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.7 males.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Rochelle GA
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rochelle GA.
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