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

How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Clayton 30525

Clayton GA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Clayton GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Clayton GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Clayton GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Clayton GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Clayton GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Clayton GA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clayton GAWhile not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clayton GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Clayton GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy 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 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 earn 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, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Clayton GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. 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 colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Clayton GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Clayton GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Clayton healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

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 undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for 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 classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Clayton GA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Clayton GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need 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 obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clayton Georgia?

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

Clayton, Georgia

The area that would eventually become Clayton was called the Dividings because it sat at the intersection of three important Cherokee people trails. Explorer and naturalist William Bartram came through the Dividings in May 1775 while exploring what would later be organized as Rabun County. Much later, after Clayton had grown to include the Dividings, two of the old Cherokee trails were improved as the main roads for Clayton and the county: U.S. 23/441 and U.S. 76.

Claytonsville was founded by European-American settlers in 1821 as the seat of Rabun County.[5] In 1823, the town was incorporated and renamed Clayton.[6] It was named after a prominent jurist and congressman, Judge Augustin S. Clayton, who served in both the Georgia House of Representatives and Georgia Senate before being elected as a US Representative from Georgia, serving two terms from 1831–1835.

In 1904, the Tallulah Falls Railway was completed to Clayton from Cornelia, Georgia; it was extended to Franklin, North Carolina by 1907. Clayton has had public water and sanitary sewer service since the 1920s. Initially, the water supply was two springs on nearby Buzzard Roost Mountain, but today Clayton uses Lake Rabun as its water supply.

Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Clayton GA

Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Clayton GA.

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