Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – La Fayette GA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near La Fayette 30728

La Fayette GA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near La Fayette GA is an essential 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 regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

La Fayette GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as La Fayette GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive 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
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other La Fayette GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

La Fayette GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the La Fayette GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate 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 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in La Fayette GAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s La Fayette GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the La Fayette GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some La Fayette GA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 La Fayette 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 program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have associations with La Fayette GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training 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 form professional relationships in the La Fayette medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their La Fayette GA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the La Fayette GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near La Fayette Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the La Fayette GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

LaFayette, Georgia

LaFayette (/lʌˈfeɪɛt/ luh-FAY-et) is a city in, and the county seat of, Walker County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 6,702, which rose to 7,121 in 2010. It was founded as Chattooga.

LaFayette was founded as Chattooga, in 1835, as the seat of newly formed Walker County.[4] The county was named after the former United States senator Freeman Walker.[5] Chattooga was renamed LaFayette in 1836 after Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, the French aristocrat who fought in the American Revolutionary War.[6]

LaFayette is located at 34°42′35″N 85°17′2″W / 34.70972°N 85.28389°W / 34.70972; -85.28389 (34.709704, -85.283862).[7] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.1 square miles (21 km2), all land.

Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near La Fayette GA

Selecting the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in La Fayette GA.

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