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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Hawkinsville 31036

Hawkinsville GA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Hawkinsville GA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Hawkinsville GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Hawkinsville 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent 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.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hawkinsville GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Hawkinsville GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Hawkinsville GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Hawkinsville GAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hawkinsville GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Hawkinsville GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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. Get in touch with several Hawkinsville GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hawkinsville GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Hawkinsville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Hawkinsville healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Hawkinsville GA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible 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, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hawkinsville GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hawkinsville Georgia?

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

Hawkinsville, Georgia

Hawkinsville is known as the "Harness Horse Capital" of Georgia.[5] The Lawrence Bennett Harness Horse Racing facility is owned by the city and serves as an important training ground during winter months.[6] The Harness Festival takes place every April at the end of training before horses head north for the harness racing season.

Hawkinsville was founded by European Americans in 1830. That same year, the seat of Pulaski County was transferred to Hawkinsville from Hartford. The community was named for Benjamin Hawkins, delegate to the Continental Congress, and the United States Indian Agent in the Southeast, appointed by President George Washington.[7]

The city includes Hawkinsville High School and several historical sites, including Hawkinsville City Hall-Auditorium, Hawkinsville Public School, the Merritt-Ragan House, the Pulaski County Courthouse, and Taylor Hall. St. Thomas African Methodist Episcopal Church was organized after the American Civil War as one of hundreds of AME churches planted in the South by missionaries from the first black independent denomination in the United States, founded in the early 19th century in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Hawkinsville Commercial and Industrial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawkinsville is also home to the historic Hawkinsville Opera House.

Choose the Right Physical Therapy School near Hawkinsville GA

Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Hawkinsville GA.

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