How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Ellaville 31806
Earning a physical therapist degree near Ellaville GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Ellaville GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Ellaville GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Ellaville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually include 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion 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 licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Ellaville GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Ellaville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools 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 choose an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting 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. Call several Ellaville GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college 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 couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Ellaville GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Ellaville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Ellaville health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Ellaville GA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Ellaville GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ellaville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ellaville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
A town named Pond Town was established in 1812 along the stage coach in the area that is now the location of the Ellaville City Cemetery. Thea area was then part of the lands belonging to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. In 1821, after the Treaty of Indian Springs the area became part of the state of Georgia. In 1826, it served as temporary county seat for Lee County upon the creation of the then vast county. Pond Town soon became a lively town noted for horse racing and whiskey. In 1831, the area became part of Sumter County. In 1840, twenty families migrated to Mississippi, which began the process of depopulating the town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,438 people, 621 households, and 416 families residing in the city. The population density was 505.9 people per square mile (195.4/km²). There were 1,267 housing units at an average density of 217.9 per square mile (84.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 34.34% White, 62.74% African American, 0.19% Native American, 1.18% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.48% of the population.
There were 621 households out of which 35.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.4% were married couples living together, 22.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.22.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Ellaville GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Ellaville GA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Georgia