How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Warrenton 30828
Earning a physical therapist degree near Warrenton GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select 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 besides 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Warrenton 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Warrenton GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Warrenton GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can 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 degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Warrenton GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Warrenton GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting 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 several Warrenton GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Warrenton GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Warrenton GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Warrenton healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Warrenton GA residence. Individuals who have chosen 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Warrenton GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Warrenton Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Warrenton GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Warrenton was founded in 1797 as seat of Warren County (est. 1793). It was incorporated as a town in 1810 and as a city in 1908. The community was named for American Revolutionary War general Joseph Warren. This was also the city in which, David Bushnell, the inventor of the first submarine to be used in combat, had died.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,013 people, 816 households, and 527 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,056.9 people per square mile (409.1/km²). There were 909 housing units at an average density of 477.3 per square mile (184.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 29.41% White, 69.40% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.25% from other races, and 0.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.
There were 816 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 31.1% were married couples living together, 28.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 31.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.09.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Warrenton GA
Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Warrenton GA.
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