How to Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Sylvester Georgia
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Sylvester GA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 work in diverse locations, such as Sylvester GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Cerebral Palsy
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Sylvester GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Sylvester 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 obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require two 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 created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Sylvester GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, 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 colleges within the Sylvester GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online college, 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. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Sylvester GA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Sylvester GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Sylvester GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Sylvester healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Sylvester GA residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Sylvester GA area, confirm that they are offered. 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 carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near Sylvester Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Sylvester GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
Sylvester is the county seat of Worth County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,990 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat and business center of Worth County and is claimed to be the Peanut Capital of the World due to its peanut production.
Sylvester started as a "beautiful nowhere" in 1893 and was first called "Isabella Station". When the Brunswick and Albany Railroad came through southwest Georgia, the county seat was Isabella, which is located three miles north of the railroad. Slowly, however, the center of trade and commerce shifted south along the railroad. Two other towns, Poulan and Sumner, sprang up along the railroad in Worth County, but it was Isabella Station that grew and prospered the fastest. In 1894, the citizens voted to change the name to "Sylvester". In 1898, Sylvester voted to incorporate and on December 21 of that year the Georgia Legislature agreed to incorporate it as a city.
There have been four courthouses since Worth County was created in 1853. The first was a two-story frame structure on the public square in Isabella, which was then Worth's county seat. This building burned down in 1879, and a schoolhouse was used as a temporary courthouse until a new one could be built in 1893 — but that structure soon burned also. A new courthouse was constructed the following year, but in 1904 the legislature changed the county seat from Isabella to Sylvester.
Physical Therapy Bachelors Degree Schools Sylvester GA
Picking the right physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Physical Therapy Bachelors Degree Schools. However, as you start your search for a physical therapist college keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Sylvester GA.
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