How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Union 29379
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Union SC is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Union SC private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Union SC medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Union SC area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- 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 eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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 in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Union SC residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Union SC area and throughout South Carolina, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 enroll in an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Union SC physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact the South Carolina Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Union SC area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Union SC clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Union health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Union SC residence. Students 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Union SC area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure 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 Union South Carolina?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Union SC area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Unión SC was founded in 1922, from a merge of Comercial Football Club and Victoria Sport Club. In the 1933–34 season, the club won the Tercera División, and disputed one campaign in Segunda División, finishing last in its group.
In 1937, Unión SC was disbanded, mainly due to World War II. The club did not return to an active status, but the club's board and players joined Football Club Vigués in 1939, acting mainly as Celta de Vigo's reserve team.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Union SC
Choosing the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Union SC.
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