How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Whitesburg 30185
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Whitesburg GA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a quality 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 nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Whitesburg 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Whitesburg GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing 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 available in the Whitesburg GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Whitesburg GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring 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.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Whitesburg GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. 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 School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Whitesburg GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Whitesburg GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum 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) along with 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 number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Whitesburg GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally 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 Whitesburg medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Whitesburg GA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have 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? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Whitesburg GA area, verify 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 need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Whitesburg Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Whitesburg GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The McIntosh Reserve here is the former plantation of Chief William McIntosh, a prominent leader of the Lower Towns of the Creek Confederacy. He was executed at his home in 1825 on order of the National Council of the Creek Nation for having negotiated and signed the Treaty of Indian Springs that year, which ceded most of the Creek territory in Georgia and Alabama to the United States. The Creek National Council negotiated a new treaty with the United States the next year to gain a more favorable settlement, but most of the Creek were removed to Indian Territory in the 1820s and 1830s.
In the 21st century federally recognized tribes of the Creek include the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Kialegee Tribal Town, and Thlopthlocco Tribal Town of Oklahoma, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.8 square miles (7.3 km²), of which 2.8 square miles (7.2 km²) is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1 km²) (1.07%) is water. Whitesburg is located along the Chattahoochee River in southeastern Carroll County.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Whitesburg GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit different campuses to view their facilities and speak 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Whitesburg GA.
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