How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Thomaston 30286
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Thomaston GA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Thomaston GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although 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.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Thomaston GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Thomaston GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Thomaston GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right 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 come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Thomaston GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 enroll in 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 enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Thomaston GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. 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 two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Thomaston GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Thomaston GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Thomaston healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Thomaston GA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Thomaston GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Thomaston Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Thomaston GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Thomaston is a city in and the county seat of Upson County,Georgia, United States. The population was 9,638 at the 2006 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Thomaston, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta - Sandy Springs (GA) - Gainesville (GA) - Alabama (partial) Combined Statistical Area.
Thomaston was incorporated on January 1, 1825, and designated as the seat of Upson County. The town was named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Jett is also credited with assisting in the construction of the state capitol at Milledgeville in 1805-7 and Franklin College on the campus of the University of Georgia in 1806.
The judges of the inferior court had the authority to sell lots to individuals on a one-third cash basis with two years to complete the payment. This money was used to build the first courthouse, which was completed in 1828. The second courthouse was completed in 1852, and the present courthouse was erected in 1908. In the southeast corner of the square is a cannonball mounted on a marble base, said to be the first fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. P. W. Alexander, a noted correspondent during the Civil War (1861–65) and a citizen of Upson County, retrieved it.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Thomaston GA
Picking the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Thomaston GA.
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