How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Lizella 31052
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Lizella GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss 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?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Lizella GA hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Lizella GA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Lizella GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees 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 necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lizella GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Lizella GA area and across Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Lizella GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lizella GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Lizella GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Lizella medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 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 college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Lizella GA home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously 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 choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools 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 School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lizella GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lizella Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lizella GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Lizella is an unincorporated community in Bibb and Crawford County, Georgia, United States, approximately 11 miles southwest of Macon. It is part of the Macon Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lizella is home to a single post office, several churches, a fire station, a sheriff's sub-station, a small shopping center, a private swimming pool, a private baseball field, and a closed elementary school (W.B. Redding Elementary School). Also, U.S. Route 80 passes through Lizella.
Originally Warrior, a Native American settlement, it became a white settlement in 1821. Lizella was established circa 1891, when the Macon and Birmingham Railroad Co. laid tracks to LaGrange amid a collection of farms west of Macon. The community it formed was dubbed Lizella by postmaster James E. Eubanks, according to the history book 'Remembering Lizella.' Eubanks drew the name from his two daughters, Lizzie and Ella.
Lake Tobesofkee, less than a mile from Lizella, has three parks. Claystone and Sandy Beach Parks, located on Moseley-Dixon Road near I-475 and Arrowhead Park, located on Columbus Road near U.S. 80. Each Park features covered picnic pavilions, clean and well maintained grounds and ample restroom facilities.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Lizella GA
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach 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 field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lizella GA.
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