How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Kingston 30145
Earning a physical therapy degree near Kingston GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Kingston GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Kingston GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Kingston GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kingston GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Kingston GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Kingston GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It might 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools 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. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Kingston GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Kingston GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Kingston medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Kingston GA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kingston GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Kingston Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kingston GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Georgia State Route 293 (Kingston Highway) passes through the center of town, leading southeast 11 miles (18 km) to Cartersville and west 13 miles (21 km) to Rome. U.S. Route 411 is a four-lane highway that passes 1 mile (2 km) south of Kingston, connecting the same two larger communities.
Native American tribes once inhabited the area. People of the Mississippian culture were in the vicinity until about 1500 AD. Cherokee removal occurred locally by 1838. Europeans settlers were moved in as early as 1832, after a land lottery.
On April 12, 1862, James J. Andrews with 18 Union soldiers in disguise, and 1 civilian, having seized the locomotive The General at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) intending to wreck the Western and Atlantic Railroad, were forced to side-track here and wait for the southbound freights to pass. After a long delay The General continued north. Pursuing from Big Shanty, William Allen Fuller (conductor) led a crew which used a push-car and other means and eventually caught the highjackers.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Kingston GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Kingston GA.
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