How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Fairmount 30139
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Fairmount GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Fairmount GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Fairmount GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in 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 focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Fairmount GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fairmount GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Fairmount GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Fairmount GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Fairmount GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Fairmount GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain 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 help graduates and students form professional connections in the Fairmount healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Fairmount GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairmount GA area, check 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 may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fairmount Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fairmount GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fairmount is a city in Gordon County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 720. Gordon County is home to New Echota, which was once the Cherokee Nation's capital. It was the origin of the Cherokee written language and newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix.
Fairmount is located in southeastern Gordon County at 34°26′19″N 84°41′58″W / 34.43861°N 84.69944°W / 34.43861; -84.69944 (34.438510, -84.699371), in the valley of Salacoa Creek, a northwest-flowing tributary of the Coosawattee River. U.S. Route 411 runs through the center of town as Salacoa Avenue, leading north 24 miles (39 km) to Chatsworth and south 21 miles (34 km) to Cartersville. Georgia State Route 53 crosses US 411 in Fairmount, leading east 18 miles (29 km) to Jasper and west 17 miles (27 km) to Calhoun, the Gordon County seat.
As of the census of 2000, there were 745 people, 307 households, and 220 families residing in the city. The population density was 619.9 people per square mile (239.7/km²). There were 334 housing units at an average density of 277.9 per square mile (107.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.70% White, 3.22% African American, 0.27% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.21% of the population.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Fairmount GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school 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 also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Fairmount GA.
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