How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Winterville 30683
Getting a physical therapist degree near Winterville GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. 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 important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Winterville GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Winterville GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available 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. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Winterville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Winterville GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Winterville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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. Get in touch with several Winterville GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Winterville GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Winterville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Winterville health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical 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 determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Winterville GA residence. 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 local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships 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 too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Winterville GA area, make sure 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Winterville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Winterville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Winterville is a city in Clarke County, Georgia, United States. Since 1991, Winterville has been the only municipality located wholly within Athens-Clarke County. The population was 1,122 at the 2010 census.
Winterville is located at 33°58′00″N 83°16′54″W / 33.966720°N 83.281669°W / 33.966720; -83.281669, a 6-mile (10 km)–drive from the University of Georgia. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,122 people, 485 households, and 318 families residing in the city. The population density was 431.5 people per square mile (162.6/km2). There were 529 housing units at an average density of 203.5 per square mile (76.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 73.35% White, 21.84% African American, 0.36% Asian, 0.27% Native American, 3.57% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 5.26% of the population.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Winterville GA
Picking the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to 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 selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Winterville GA.
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