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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Dawson 31742

Dawson GA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Dawson GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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?

Dawson GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Dawson 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive 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.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Dawson GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Dawson GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only 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. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Dawson GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Dawson GAAlthough 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 structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dawson GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can 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 can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Dawson GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 can also receive 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 recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Dawson GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. 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 filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dawson GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both exceptional 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Dawson GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Dawson medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Dawson GA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dawson GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dawson Georgia?

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

Dawson, Georgia

Dawson is a city in and the county seat of Terrell County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,557 at the 2010 census.[2] Incorporated on December 22, 1857, the city is named for Senator William Crosby Dawson.[4]

Dawson was founded in 1856 as seat of the newly formed Terrell County. It was incorporated as a town in 1857 and as a city in 1872.[5] Terrell was an important site in the 1960s, when the county in which it is located was labeled "Terrible Terrell" by the SNCC. Jackie Robinson helped raise money to rebuild three black churches that were burned in the area.

Dawson is located in Southwest Georgia along U.S. Route 82 and Georgia State Route 520 (Columbus Highway), which leads southeast 8 mi (13 km) to Sasser and northwest 9 mi (14 km) to Parrott. U.S. 82 leads west 21 mi (34 km) to Cuthbert and 47 mi (76 km) to Eufaula, Alabama. Albany is 24 mi (39 km) southeast and Columbus is 63 mi (101 km) northwest.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Dawson GA

Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dawson GA.

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