How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Hampton 30228
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Hampton GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring 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 research those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Hampton GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. 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. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Hampton GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Hampton GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so 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 college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hampton GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, 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 invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Hampton GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program 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 might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Hampton GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Hampton GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Hampton GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Hampton healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Hampton GA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hampton GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. 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 Hampton Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hampton GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hampton is a city in southwestern Henry County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 6,987, up from 3,857 at the 2000 census. By 2015 the estimated population was 7,372. "Hampton" mailing addresses outside the city limits reach into rural parts of eastern Clayton County and northern Spalding County. It is a southeastern suburb in the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The city was once known as "Bear Creek" or "Bear Creek Station", named after a creek that runs through the area. The town was moved, established and renamed in 1873 when the Central Railroad of Georgia was built approx. one mile to the east. It was named after Brig. General Wade Hampton, an American soldier in the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
The Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Henry County Airport are located 3 miles (5 km) west of Hampton. The Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center, the Federal Aviation Administration's ARTCC for the airspace over Atlanta and other parts of the Southeast U.S., is located in Hampton.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy College near Hampton GA
Choosing the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options 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 Hampton GA.
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