How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Warner Robins 31088
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Warner Robins GA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Warner Robins GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Warner Robins GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Warner Robins GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often 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 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Warner Robins GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Warner Robins GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also obtain 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 from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Warner Robins GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful 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 suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Warner Robins GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have associations with Warner Robins GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Warner Robins healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Warner Robins GA home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Warner Robins GA area, make certain 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Warner Robins Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Warner Robins GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Warner Robins, Georgia
Warner Robins is a city in the U.S. state of Georgia, located in Houston County in the central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 66,588. From 2000 to 2010, the Warner Robins city population grew by 36.4% (from 48,804 people to 66,588).
Warner Robins is a part of the larger Macon-Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area, with an estimated 2017 population of 420,693. Warner Robins Air Depot was built in 1942 just outside the city limits. Its expansion has attracted more residents.
Warner Robins was founded in 1942 from the community of Wellston. It was named for General Augustine Warner Robins (1882-1940) of the United States Air Force. It was incorporated as a town in 1943 and as a city in 1956.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Warner Robins GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Warner Robins GA.
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