How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Sandersville 31082
Earning a physical therapist degree near Sandersville GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Sandersville GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Sandersville GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, 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 Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Sandersville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four 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 licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Sandersville GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Sandersville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also receive 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. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as 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 select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Sandersville GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Sandersville GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Sandersville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Sandersville healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind 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. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average student to teacher 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 talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Sandersville GA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Sandersville GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sandersville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Sandersville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.45 square kilometres (4.03 sq mi), of which 9.1 square miles (24 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (0.87%) is water. The area is along the "Fall Line" that separates the Piedmont Plateau and the Atlantic Coastal Plain and is characterized by rolling hills, red clay, pine and hardwood forest, swamplands, and sand beds. The area tapers off from North to South and becomes more flat. Heading north it becomes more hilly with higher elevations.
As of the census of 2011, there were 6,097 people, 2,315 households, and 1,568 families residing in the city. The population density was 672.1 people per square mile (259.5/km²). There were 2,566 housing units at an average density of 283.2 per square mile (109.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.03% African American, 39.76% White, 0.11% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.24% of the population.
There were 2,362 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 25.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.6% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.13.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Sandersville GA
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Sandersville GA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Georgia