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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Dexter 31019

Dexter GA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Dexter GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home 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?

Dexter GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Dexter GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Dexter GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Dexter GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Dexter GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Dexter GAAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dexter GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs 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.

Topics 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 intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Dexter GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best 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 schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Dexter GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dexter GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have relationships with Dexter GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Dexter health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Dexter GA home. Individuals who have chosen 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 decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is available. 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 provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Dexter GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask 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 Dexter Georgia?

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

Dexter, Georgia

The first permanent settlement at Dexter was made in 1889.[4] A post office has been in operation at Dexter since 1890.[5] The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the place in 1891 as the "Town of Dexter".[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), of which 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (2.60%) is water.

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 509 people, 207 households, and 143 families residing in the town. The population density was 670.4 people per square mile (258.6/km²). There were 231 housing units at an average density of 304.2 per square mile (117.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 77.41% White and 22.59% African American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.20% of the population.

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist College near Dexter GA

Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dexter GA.

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