How to Pick a Physical Therapist Program near Jasper 30143
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Jasper GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Jasper 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Jasper GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available 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. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Jasper 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 programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Jasper GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Jasper GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Jasper GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Jasper GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Jasper GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Jasper healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Jasper GA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Jasper GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Jasper Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Jasper GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Jasper was founded in 1853 as seat of the newly formed Pickens County. It was incorporated in 1857 as a town and in 1957 as a city. The community is named for William Jasper, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,167 people, 942 households, and 575 families residing in the city. The population density was 657.0 people per square mile (253.5/km²). There were 1,030 housing units at an average density of 312.3 per square mile (120.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.74% White, 4.38% African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.12% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.23% of the population.
There were 942 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.82.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Jasper GA
Picking the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Jasper GA.
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