How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Soperton 30457
Getting a physical therapist degree near Soperton GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Soperton GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Soperton GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into 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 Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Soperton GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress 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. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding 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 Colleges
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so 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 close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Soperton GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, 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 Soperton GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Soperton GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Soperton GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Soperton GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Soperton health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Soperton GA residence. Students 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Soperton GA area, verify that they are offered. 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Soperton Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Soperton 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 3.3 square miles (8.5 km2), of which 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (0.61%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,824 people, 1,096 households, and 737 families residing in the city. The population density was 870.6 people per square mile (336.5/km²). There were 1,215 housing units at an average density of 374.6 per square mile (144.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 46.67% White, 51.84% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.39% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.92% of the population.
There were 1,096 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.4% were married couples living together, 26.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.7% were non-families. 29.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.09.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Soperton GA
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Soperton GA.
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