How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Waynesboro 30830
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Waynesboro GA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Waynesboro GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop 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.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Waynesboro GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Waynesboro GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Waynesboro GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Waynesboro GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Waynesboro GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It may also be prudent to check with 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 significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Waynesboro GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Waynesboro GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Waynesboro healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher 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 an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Waynesboro GA residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Waynesboro GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask 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 Waynesboro Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Waynesboro GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Waynesboro is a city in Burke County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,766 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Burke County. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area.
Waynesboro is located in Burke County, one of the eight original counties of Georgia. The city was named after General Anthony Wayne, whose daring efforts during the Revolutionary War earned him the nickname "Mad Anthony Wayne".
Although the residents lived in the area before the Revolutionary War, the town was not laid out until 1783. The city was officially incorporated in 1883 as Waynesborough. The name was changed to Waynesboro sometime after.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Waynesboro GA
Picking the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize 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 best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Waynesboro GA.
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