How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Homerville 31634
Earning a physical therapy degree near Homerville GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients 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 need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, 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 important to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Homerville GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Homerville GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Homerville 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 obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature 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. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Homerville GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, 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 Homerville GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check 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 required for state licensing and even 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 outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Homerville GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Homerville GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Homerville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Homerville medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want 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 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Homerville GA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance 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 therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Homerville GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Homerville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Homerville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Homerville is a city in Clinch County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,456 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 12.38% from its population of 2,803 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Clinch County. Homerville was incorporated February 15, 1869.
Clinch County was created on February 14, 1850, by an act of the Georgia General Assembly, and was named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, a decorated United States brigadier general and Georgia congressman who had recently died. Clinch, Georgia's 95th county, was formed from land originally inhabited by the Oconee people and consolidated portions of Ware County and Lowndes County. The act creating the county named Elijah Mattox, Simon W. Nichol, Timothy Kirkland, Benjamin Sirmans, and John J. Johnson as commissioners charged with selecting a county seat and constructing a courthouse.
The designated commissioners quickly settled on a site just southwest of the present-day Homerville, and in memory of President James K. Polk decided to name the county seat "Polk". Two years later, however, the Georgia General Assembly inexplicably changed the name of the county seat to "Magnolia", just as the county's first courthouse was completed. The first courthouse was quite small and was destroyed in 1856 when a citizen, presumably dissatisfied with legal proceedings brought against him, decided to destroy the courthouse by fire.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Homerville GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Homerville GA.
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