How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Springfield 31329
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Springfield GA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Springfield GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier 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 develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Springfield GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Springfield GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Springfield GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Springfield GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned 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 enroll in an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Springfield GA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Springfield GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Springfield GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Springfield healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Springfield GA home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Springfield GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Springfield Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Springfield GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Springfield is a city in Effingham County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,852 at the 2010 census, up from 1,821 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Effingham County. Springfield is part of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Springfield is the seat of government for Effingham County.Ebenezer was the county seat from 1797 to 1799. In 1799, Effingham County had three different county seats. The state legislature appointed a commission to select a new centrally located site for the permanent county seat. A location five miles from the center of the county was chosen and named Springfield, for the plantation of General David Blackshear.
The county government surveyed the new town, and designated streets, lots, and the public squares that were to be used for the courthouse and the jail. The lots were sold to finance the construction of these public buildings. A map drawn in 1821 shows four north–south streets and nine east–west streets. Development of the new county seat was slow, as it was isolated from customary routes of trade. At the turn of the 20th century, it was listed as having only about twelve houses.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Springfield GA
Selecting the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current 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 following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Springfield GA.
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