Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Lexington GA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Lexington 30648

Lexington GA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Lexington GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. 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?

Lexington GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Lexington GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often 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 strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Lexington GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Lexington GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Lexington GA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lexington GAWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of 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 incorporated 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 portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lexington GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Lexington GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Lexington GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice 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 Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lexington GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to 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 performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Lexington GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Lexington medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student 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 converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Lexington GA home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer 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 Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lexington GA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lexington Georgia?

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

Lexington, Georgia

Lexington was founded in 1800. That same year, the seat of Oglethorpe County was transferred to Lexington from Philomath. Lexington was incorporated as a town in 1806, and is named for Lexington, Massachusetts.[5]

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 239 people, 101 households, and 65 families residing in the city. The population density was 439.6 people per square mile (170.9/km²). There were 115 housing units at an average density of 211.5 per square mile (82.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.71% White, 25.94% African American, 0.84% Native American, and 2.51% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.26% of the population.

There were 101 households out of which 23.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.82.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Lexington GA

Choosing the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see 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 licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lexington GA.

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