How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Vienna 31092
Earning a physical therapist degree near Vienna GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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 a variety of locations, such as Vienna GA private practices, hospitals, 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Vienna GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Vienna GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Vienna GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Vienna GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Vienna GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Vienna GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Vienna GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Vienna health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
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 Vienna GA residence. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Vienna GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Vienna Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Vienna GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The city of Vienna /vaɪˈɛnə/ is the county seat of Dooly County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,011 at the 2010 census, up from 2,973 in 2000. It was established as Berrien in 1826. In 1833, its name was changed to Drayton. In 1841, it was renamed Vienna. Vienna was disincorporated at the time they changed the city's name to Vienna.
Vienna was founded in 1826 as the seat of Dooly County as Berrien. Its name was later changed to Drayton.. The county seat moved to Drayton (it retained the same name), Georgia along the Flint River (Georgia) in 1836. It was later re-designated county seat in 1841. It was incorporated as a town in 1854 and as a city in 1901.
Vienna is located in southern Dooly County. U.S. Route 41 passes through the center of town as Third Street, leading north 13 miles (21 km) to Unadilla and south 9 miles (14 km) to Cordele. Interstate 75 passes 2 miles (3 km) east of the center of town (and forms the eastern border of the city), with access from Exits 109 and 112. I-75 leads north 55 miles (89 km) to Macon and south 49 miles (79 km) to Tifton.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Vienna GA
Choosing the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Vienna GA.
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