How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Young Harris 30582
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Young Harris GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Young Harris GA hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Young Harris GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Young Harris GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to 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 therapist programs available, 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Young Harris GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Young Harris GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain 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, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of 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 also. Call a few Young Harris GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program 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 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 schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure 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 Young Harris GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Young Harris GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Young Harris medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Young Harris GA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Young Harris GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Young Harris Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Young Harris GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Young Harris, Georgia
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 899 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 90.9% White, 2.6% Black, 0.4% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% from some other race and 0.8% from two or more races. 4.0% were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 604 people, 112 households, and 74 families residing in the city. The population density was 591.2 people per square mile (228.6/km²). There were 134 housing units at an average density of 131.2 per square mile (50.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.52% White, 1.66% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.50% Asian, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.83% of the population.
There were 112 households out of which 21.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.74.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Young Harris GA
Choosing the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Young Harris GA.
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