Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Thomson GA

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Thomson 30824

Thomson GA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Thomson GA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Thomson GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Thomson 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 touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Thomson GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Thomson GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Thomson GA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Thomson GAAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Thomson GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Thomson GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for 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. Call several Thomson GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Thomson GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Thomson GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Thomson healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering 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 final 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 also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Thomson GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Thomson GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Thomson Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Thomson GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Thomson, Georgia

Thomson (originally called Slashes) is a city in McDuffie County, Georgia, United States. The population was 6,778 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of McDuffie County.[4] Thomson's nickname is "The Camellia City of the South", in honor of the thousands of camellia plants throughout the city. Thomson was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson and incorporated February 15, 1854 as a town and in 1870 as a city. It is part of the Augusta – Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Thomson, originally called Slashes, was founded in 1837 as a depot on the Georgia Railroad. It was renamed in 1853 for railroad official John Edgar Thomson. In 1870, Thomson was designated seat of the newly formed McDuffie County. It was incorporated as a town in 1854 and as a city in 1870.[5]

The Old Rock House, built in 1785, is said to be one of Georgia's oldest documented houses with its original design intact. Built by Thomas Ansley, the home is said to be the home of ancestors of former president Jimmy Carter.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Thomson GA

Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Thomson GA.

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