Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Clarkston GA

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Clarkston 30021

Clarkston GA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Clarkston GA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Clarkston GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Clarkston GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Clarkston GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Degrees

Clarkston GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Clarkston GA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clarkston GAWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clarkston GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs 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 option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Clarkston GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Clarkston GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may 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 Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clarkston GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Clarkston GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Clarkston health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse 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 choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Clarkston GA home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clarkston 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 credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out 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 Clarkston Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clarkston GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Clarkston, Georgia

Clarkston is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 12,742 as of 2016.[5] The Clarkston Campus of Georgia State University's Perimeter College is just south of the city limits.

The city is noted for its ethnic diversity, and is often referred to as "the most diverse square mile in America" and "the Ellis Island of the South." In the 1990s, refugee resettlement programs identified Clarkston as a good fit for displaced persons of many backgrounds. The rental market was open, residents were moving farther out from the Atlanta urban core, and Clarkston was the last stop on a transit line into the city. By the 2000s the local high school had students from more than 50 countries; a local mosque had 800 worshipers; and by some estimates, half the population was from outside the U.S.

A post office called Clarkston has been in operation since 1876.[6] The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1882 as the "Town of Clarkston", with municipal corporate limits extending in a one-half mile radius from the Georgia Railroad depot.[7] The community was named after W. W. Clark, a railroad official.[8]

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Clarkston GA

Choosing the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial 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 select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach 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 options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Clarkston GA.

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