How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Swainsboro 30401
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Swainsboro GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Swainsboro GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Swainsboro GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single 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 prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Swainsboro GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available 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 portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Swainsboro GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, 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 Swainsboro GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Swainsboro GA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might 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 couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Swainsboro GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Swainsboro GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional connections in the Swainsboro medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Swainsboro GA residence. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Swainsboro GA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Swainsboro Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Swainsboro GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Swainsboro is located near the center of Emanuel County at 32°35'37" North, 82°19'56" West (32.593743, -82.332146).U.S. Route 80 passes through the center of the city, and U.S. Route 1 bypasses it to the west. US 80 leads east 36 miles (58 km) to Statesboro and west 36 miles (58 km) to Dublin, while US 1 leads north 62 miles (100 km) to Augusta and south 106 miles (171 km) to Waycross. Interstate 16 is 14 miles (23 km) south of Swainsboro via US 1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.9 square miles (33.5 km2), of which 12.6 square miles (32.6 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 2.81%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,943 people, 2,685 households, and 1,836 families residing in the city. The population density was 560.5 people per square mile (216.4/km²). There were 3,051 housing units at an average density of 246.3 per square mile (95.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 48.06% White, 49.68% African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.35% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.22% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. 2.03% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Swainsboro GA
Picking the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Swainsboro GA.
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