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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Eatonton 31024

Eatonton GA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Eatonton GA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. 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?

Eatonton GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Eatonton GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Eatonton GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Eatonton GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Eatonton GA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Eatonton GAWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Eatonton GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Eatonton GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Eatonton GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Eatonton GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important 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 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 therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Eatonton GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Eatonton healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Eatonton GA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eatonton GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Eatonton Georgia?

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

Eatonton, Georgia

Eatonton is a city in and county seat of Putnam County, Georgia, United States.[4] As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,480.[5] It was named after William Eaton, an officer and diplomat involved in the First Barbary War.[6] The name consists of his surname with the English suffix "ton," meaning "town".

The Rock Eagle Effigy Mound, a Native American archaeological site, is located north of the city. It is one of two such sites east of the Mississippi River; both are in Putnam County. The mound and related earthwork constructions were made by Woodland culture peoples, perhaps as long ago as 1,000 to 3,000 years. The site within a 1500-acre park administered by the University of Georgia, which also maintains a 4-H camp nearby. The Mound has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Following the American Revolutionary War, Eatonton was founded in 1807 as the seat of newly formed Putnam County. After the war, settlers were moving west and settling in the upland Piedmont region to develop cotton plantations. Eatonton was incorporated as a town in 1809 and as a city in 1879.[7]

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Eatonton GA

Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk to active 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 following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Eatonton GA.

A Few More Interesting Locations in Georgia

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