How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Hazlehurst 31539
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Hazlehurst GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Hazlehurst GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Hazlehurst GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Hazlehurst GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training 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 preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hazlehurst GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Hazlehurst GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 choose an online college, it can 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 simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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 also. Contact a few Hazlehurst GA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer 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 see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hazlehurst GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with Hazlehurst GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Hazlehurst health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Hazlehurst GA home. Students who have decided 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. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Hazlehurst GA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hazlehurst Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hazlehurst GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
At the census of 2000, there were 3,787 people, 1,513 households, and 1,039 families residing in the city. There were 1,810 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 68.55% White, 27.67% African American, 0.42% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 1.66% from other races, and 0.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.43% of the population.
There were 1,513 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them; 44.7% were married couples living together; 19.8% had a female householder with no husband present; and 31.3% were non-families. 28.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 24.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.1 males.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Hazlehurst GA
Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Hazlehurst GA.
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