How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near Conyers 30012
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Conyers GA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated 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 must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Conyers GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate 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
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Conyers GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Conyers GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- 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 initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Conyers GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Conyers GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Conyers GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea 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 two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Conyers GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Conyers GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Conyers healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Conyers GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Conyers GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Conyers Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Conyers GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Conyers is the only city in Rockdale County, Georgia, United States. The city is twenty-four miles (38.6 km) east of Atlanta. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 15,195. The city is the county seat of Rockdale County. The formerly separate town of Milstead is now part of Conyers.
Before European settlement, the area which is now Conyers, along with the surrounding county of Rockdale, was occupied by mound-building Native Americans. As time progressed, the Muscogee (or Creek) and Cherokee natives shared a common border here. This border was known as the "Great Indian Road," and is known now as the "Hightower Trail". This trail was used by white settlers following the American Revolution.
Between 1816 and 1821, the area known as Rockdale was open for settlement. John Holcomb, a blacksmith, was the first settler in what is now Conyers. He settled where the current Rockdale County Courthouse is located, in the middle of Conyers on Main Street.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Conyers GA
Selecting the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Conyers GA.
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