How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Villa Rica 30180
Earning a physical therapist degree near Villa Rica GA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to ensure they will furnish 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 cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Villa Rica GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share 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 often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Villa Rica GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Villa Rica GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Villa Rica GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Villa Rica GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 can also receive 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Villa Rica GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Villa Rica GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Villa Rica GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get 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 relationships in the Villa Rica healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Villa Rica GA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Villa Rica GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Villa Rica Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Villa Rica GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Villa Rica, Georgia
Villa Rica /ˌvɪləˈrɪkə/ is a city in Carroll and Douglas counties in the U.S. state of Georgia. The population was 4,134 at the 2000 census. By the 2010 census, the population had grown to 13,956, an increase of approximately 238%.
Villa Rica is located in northeastern Carroll County and northwestern Douglas County at 33°43′55″N 84°55′12″W / 33.73194°N 84.92000°W / 33.73194; -84.92000 (33.731909, -84.919982).U.S. Route 78 (Bankhead Highway) passes through the center of the city, leading west 6 miles (10 km) to Temple and east 10 miles (16 km) to Douglasville. Interstate 20 passes through the southern part of the city with access from exits 24 and 26, and leads east 32 miles (51 km) to Atlanta and west 55 miles (89 km) to Oxford, Alabama.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.4 square miles (37.3 km2), of which 14.2 square miles (36.9 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.04%, is water. Villa Rica sits on the ridgeline that separates the Chattahoochee and the Tallapoosa river basins. Slightly more than half of Villa Rica lies within Carroll County, and the remainder lies within Douglas County.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Villa Rica GA
Picking the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Villa Rica GA.
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