How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Rock Spring 30739
Getting a physical therapy degree near Rock Spring GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Rock Spring GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Rock Spring GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Rock Spring GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Rock Spring GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the type 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 considering there are so many PT colleges within the Rock Spring GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned 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 may also earn 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 just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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. Get in touch with some Rock Spring GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Rock Spring GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Rock Spring GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Rock Spring health care community and help 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 get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Rock Spring GA home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may 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 Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide 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 last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Rock Spring GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rock Spring Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rock Spring GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Rock Spring, Georgia
Rock Spring is a small unincorporated census county division located in northwest Georgia, United States, approximately 14 miles (23 km) south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. It is in Walker County which resides in Georgia's 9th congressional district. Rock Spring is included in the Chattanooga, TN-GA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The nearest major city is Chattanooga, and the nearest incorporated cities are Chickamauga and La Fayette, a few minutes away. From Rock Spring it takes roughly twenty minutes to drive to the Chattanooga city limits, and about thirty-five minutes for downtown Chattanooga. Nissin Brake Georgia , a major casting, machining and assembly facility established in 2002, is the largest employer in Rock Spring. There is also a Georgia Department of Driver Services branch in the community. Rock Spring Elementary School, Saddle Ridge Elementary, and Saddle Ridge Middle School serves the community as part of the Walker County School District.
Northwest Georgia has a significant history tied to the Civil War. The Battle of Chickamauga was fought in the Chickamauga area, and was one of the major battles of the war. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park spans over 9000 acres and is located in nearby Chickamauga.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy School near Rock Spring GA
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize 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 best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Rock Spring GA.
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