How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Kings Bay 31547
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Kings Bay GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Kings Bay GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce 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:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Kings Bay GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Kings Bay GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so 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. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Kings Bay GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Kings Bay GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Kings Bay GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Kings Bay GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Kings Bay GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Kings Bay healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? 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 likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for 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 classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Kings Bay GA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Kings Bay GA area, verify 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 need to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Kings Bay Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kings Bay GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kings Bay, Georgia
Since 1979, the adjacent Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (initially named Naval Submarine Support Base Kings Bay), located at 30.796 N, 81.514 W, has served as the major East Coast operating, training and refit base for nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). The base also hosts the Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic (SWFLANT), 30.785 N, 81.537 W.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy College near Kings Bay GA
Deciding on the right physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Kings Bay GA.
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