How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Lenox 31637
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Lenox GA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest 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 what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Lenox GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen 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:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Lenox GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Lenox GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often 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 overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered 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 requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lenox GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Lenox GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned 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 select an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Lenox GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lenox GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have associations with Lenox GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Lenox healthcare 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 class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Lenox GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lenox GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lenox Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lenox GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Lenox is located in northern Cook County at 31°16′N 83°28′W / 31.267°N 83.467°W / 31.267; -83.467 (31.2712, -83.4654).U.S. Route 41 passes through the center of the town as Robinson Street, and Interstate 75 passes through the west side of the town, with access from Exit 49. Tifton is 13 miles (21 km) to the north, and Adel, the Cook County seat, is 10 miles (16 km) to the south.
As of the census of 2010, there were 889 people, 351 households, and 237 families residing in the town. The population density was 717.0 people per square mile (276.8/km²). There were 405 housing units at an average density of 326.6 per square mile (126.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 58.61% White, 38.02% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.36% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.81% of the population.
There were 351 households out of which 27.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.2% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.13.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist School near Lenox GA
Choosing the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lenox GA.
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