How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Calhoun 30701
Getting a physical therapy degree near Calhoun GA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Calhoun GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Calhoun GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Calhoun GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often include 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Calhoun GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may 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 probably have made a decision regarding a few 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 spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Calhoun GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Calhoun GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may 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 relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Calhoun GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Calhoun GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Calhoun healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Calhoun GA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Calhoun GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Calhoun Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Calhoun GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Calhoun was a part of the Cherokee Nation (including New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation) until December 29, 1835. Cherokee leaders such as The Ridge and William Hicks had developed numerous productive farms in the fertile Oothcaloga Valley. When the Cherokee refused to give up the remainder of their lands under the Indian Removal Act, after years of land cessions to the United States for white settlers in Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee, President Andrew Jackson sent US troops to the northern region of Georgia to force most of the tribe to move to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, most notably present-day Oklahoma. (See more information on Trail of Tears.)
In December 1827, Georgia had already claimed the Cherokee lands that became Gordon County and other counties. A small town called "Dawsonville" was created and founded in the Gordon County, named for the owner of an early general store. Dawsonville was later renamed "Calhoun" to honor U.S. Senator John C. Calhoun, following his death in 1850.
Gordon County's inferior court called an election for the selection of the county seat, offering voters a choice between a site on the Western & Atlantic Railroad (near Adairsville) or a site more centrally located within the county. Voters chose a site along the railroad, so the inferior court designated Calhoun as county seat in 1851. The legislature incorporated Calhoun in an act approved on January 12, 1852.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Calhoun GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care 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 be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Calhoun GA.
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