How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Summitville 37382
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Summitville TN is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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 locations, such as Summitville TN hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Summitville TN health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as 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. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Summitville TN area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance 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 most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often include 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Summitville TN home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Summitville TN area and throughout Tennessee, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Summitville TN physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Tennessee Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Summitville TN area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication 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 help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Tennessee 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 therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Summitville TN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Summitville health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Summitville TN residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Summitville TN area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option 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 may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Summitville Tennessee?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Summitville TN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Coffee County, Tennessee
Coffee County was formed in 1836 from parts of Bedford, Warren, and Franklin counties. It was named for John Coffee, a prominent planter, land speculator, and militia officer. Similar to other counties in this area of the state, planters here cultivated mostly tobacco and hemp, produced by the labor of enslaved African Americans.
In the period after Reconstruction and into the early 20th century, whites in Coffee County committed eight lynchings of blacks. This was the fifth-highest total of any county in the state, but three other counties also had eight lynchings each.
Coffee County has twelve Century Farms, the classification for farms that have been operating for more than 100 years. The oldest Century Farm is Shamrock Acres, founded in 1818. Other Century Farms include:
Pick the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Summitville TN
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Summitville TN.
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