Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Smyrna GA

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Smyrna 30080

Smyrna GA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Smyrna GA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Smyrna GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Smyrna GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Smyrna GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Smyrna GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Smyrna GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Smyrna GAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Smyrna GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Smyrna GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Smyrna GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Smyrna GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with 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 number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Smyrna GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Smyrna healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Smyrna GA home. Those who have opted 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. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Smyrna GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Smyrna Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Smyrna GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Smyrna, Georgia

Smyrna is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States. It is located northwest of Atlanta, and is in the inner ring of the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 51,271.[5] The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population in 2013 to be 53,438.[6] It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs–Roswell MSA, which is included in the Atlanta–Athens–Clarke–Sandy Springs CSA. Smyrna grew by 28% between the years 2000 and 2012. It is historically one of the fastest growing cities in the State of Georgia, and one of the most densely populated cities in the metro area.[7]

Pioneers began settling the area in 1832. By the late 1830s, a religious encampment called Smyrna Camp Ground had become a popular travel destination and was well known throughout Georgia. It was named by Greeks for the Biblical city of Smyrna, modern day Izmir in Turkey, the home of the famous Christian martyr Polycarp. After the completion of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1842, the area began to grow. It was known by several names until 1872—Varner's Station, Ruff's Siding, Neal Dow, and Ruff's Station. The city was incorporated with the name Smyrna in 1872.[citation needed]

Two Civil War battles occurred in the area, the Battle of Smyrna Camp Ground and the Battle of Ruff's Mill, both on July 4, 1864.[8] The area's businesses, homes and 1849 covered bridge (since rebuilt and still in use today) were burned by Sherman's troops.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Smyrna GA

Selecting the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach 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 appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Smyrna GA.

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