How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Statesboro 30458
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Statesboro GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Statesboro GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Statesboro GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Statesboro GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can 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 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 usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Statesboro GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Statesboro GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree 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 important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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. Call a few Statesboro GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with 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 couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Statesboro GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While 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 therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Statesboro GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Statesboro healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher 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 talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Statesboro GA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Statesboro GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses 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 Statesboro Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Statesboro GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Statesboro is home to the flagship campus of Georgia Southern University and is part of the Savannah–Hinesville–Statesboro Combined Statistical Area.  As of 2016, the Statesboro Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of Bulloch County, had an estimated population of 74,722. The city had an estimated 2016 population of 31,419. Statesboro is the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Georgia. It is largest city in the Magnolia Midlands Region.
The city was chartered in 1803, starting as a small trading community providing basic essentials for surrounding cotton plantations. This drove the economy throughout the 19th century, both before and after the U.S. Civil War.
In 2017, Statesboro was selected in the top three of the national America's Best Communities competition and was named one of nine Georgia "live, work, play" cities by the Georgia Municipal Association.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Statesboro GA
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Statesboro GA.
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