How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Sardis 30456
Earning a physical therapist degree near Sardis GA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Sardis GA private practices, hospitals, 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Sardis GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing 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 stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as 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. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Sardis GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so 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 close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Sardis GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Sardis GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Sardis GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Sardis GA area? If a program has a high 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 wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every 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 fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Sardis GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Sardis health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Sardis GA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Sardis GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sardis Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Sardis GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Sardis is located in southeastern Burke County at 32°58′28″N 81°45′31″W / 32.97444°N 81.75861°W / 32.97444; -81.75861 (32.974510, -81.758504). It is 17 miles (27 km) southeast of Waynesboro, the Burke County seat.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 999 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 54.6% Black, 43.5% White, 0.3% Native American and 0.9% from two or more races. 0.7% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,171 people, 419 households, and 292 families residing in the town. The population density was 776.3 people per square mile (299.4/km²). There were 519 housing units at an average density of 344.1 per square mile (132.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 55.34% African American, 44.24% White, 0.17% from other races, and 0.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.43% of the population.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Sardis GA
Choosing the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Sardis GA.
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