How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Wrens 30833
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Wrens GA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, 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 necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy 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 home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Wrens GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. 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 frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Wrens GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Wrens GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wrens GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist 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 numerous PT schools within the Wrens GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’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. Contact some Wrens GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wrens GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Wrens GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Wrens healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Wrens GA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wrens GA area, make certain that they are available. 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 as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wrens Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Wrens GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,314 people, 903 households, and 632 families residing in the city. The population density was 760.1 people per square mile (293.9/km²). There were 1,030 housing units at an average density of 338.3 per square mile (130.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 65.17% African American, 33.19% White, 0.09% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.26% from other races, and 1.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 0.78% of the population.
There were 903 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.4% were married couples living together, 31.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 27.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.10.
In the city, the population was spread out with 29.9% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 13.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 77.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.9 males.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy College near Wrens GA
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Wrens GA.
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