How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Rome 30161
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Rome GA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become 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 necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply 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 considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Rome 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Rome GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Rome 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Rome GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Rome GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering 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 select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’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 agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Rome GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First 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, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Rome GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Rome GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Rome healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance 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 lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Rome GA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Rome GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rome Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rome GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Floyd County. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 36,303. It is the largest city in Northwest Georgia and the 19th largest city in the state.
Rome was built at the confluence of the Etowah and the Oostanaula rivers, forming the Coosa River. Because of its strategic advantages, this area was long occupied by the Creek and later the Cherokee people. National leaders such as Major Ridge and John Ross resided here before Indian Removal.
The city has developed on seven hills with the rivers running between them, a feature that inspired the early European-American settlers to name it for Rome, the longtime capital of Italy. It developed in the antebellum period as a market and trading city due to its advantageous location on the rivers, by which it sent the rich regional cotton commodity crop downriver to markets on the Gulf Coast and export overseas.
Select the Right Physical Therapy College near Rome GA
Choosing the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Rome GA.
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