How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Winston 30187
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Winston GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Winston GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Winston GA medical professionals, 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 thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Winston GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Winston GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Winston GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 select an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Winston GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It may 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Winston GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each 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 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 tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Winston GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also 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 Winston health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Winston GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Winston GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative 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 work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Winston Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Winston GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The 2004 Presidential Election results in Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 61% Republicans (Bush/Cheney), 38% Democrats (Kerry/Edwards), and 1% Other. The 2008 Presidential Election results in Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 50.41% Democrats (Obama/Biden), 48.58% Republicans (McCain/Palin), 0.76% Libertarians (Barr/Root) and 0.26% Other. The 2010 Senatorial General Election Data for Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 54% (20,056 votes) Republicans (Isakson), 43.7% (16,249 votes) Democrats (Thurmond), and 2.3% (858 votes) Other. The 2010 Gubernatorial General Election results in Douglas County, Georgia were represented by 49.13% (18,425 votes)Republicans (Nathan Deal), 46.99% (17,622 votes) Democrats (Roy E. Barnes), 3.86% (1,448 votes) Libertarians (John H. Monds), and 0.01% (4 votes) Other.
Although the Winston-area historical earthquake activity is significantly below Georgia's state average (It is 97% below the overall U.S. average.),  its historical tornado activity is above the state average (It is 135% greater than the overall U.S. average.). 
Select the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Winston GA
Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch 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 outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school 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 options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Winston GA.
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