How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Donalsonville 31745
Getting a physical therapy degree near Donalsonville GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Donalsonville GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Donalsonville GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered 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 target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Donalsonville GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so 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 a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Donalsonville GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Donalsonville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to 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 College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Donalsonville GA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Donalsonville 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 outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Donalsonville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, 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 Donalsonville health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor 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 opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Donalsonville GA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining 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, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Donalsonville GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Donalsonville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Donalsonville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Donalsonville was originally part of Decatur County. It is named after John Ernest Donalson (1846–1920), also known as Jonathan or John E. Donalson, a prominent businessman of the area. Donalson built the first lumber mill in Donalsonville, Donalson Lumber Company. He also built homes and a commissary for the workers of the mill. The lumber company paved the way for the town's growth.
Donalsonville was first chartered as a town in Georgia on December 8, 1897. When Seminole County was formed in January 1920, Donalsonville was named as its county seat. By August 1922, the Town of Donalsonville became known as the City of Donalsonville, with the charter passing on August 19, 1922.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10 km2), of which 4.0 square miles (10 km2) is land and 0.25% is water. The city is located 20 minutes north of Lake Seminole, 62 miles (100 km) south of Albany, 36 miles (58 km) east of Dothan, Alabama and 107 miles (172 km) west of Valdosta.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Donalsonville GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Donalsonville GA.
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