How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Marietta 30006
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Marietta GA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select 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 need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover 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 varying locations, such as Marietta GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Marietta GA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Marietta GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Marietta GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Marietta GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received 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 choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple 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 several Marietta GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 Marietta GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Marietta GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Marietta medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Marietta GA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Marietta GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Marietta Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Marietta GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 56,579. The 2017 estimate is 61,048, making it one of Atlanta's largest suburbs. Marietta is the fourth largest of the principal cities (by population) of the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area.
The origin of the name is uncertain. It is believed that the city was named for Mary Cobb, the wife of U.S. Senator and Superior Court judge Thomas Willis Cobb. Judge Cobb is the namesake of the county.
Homes were built by early settlers near the Cherokee town of Big Shanty (now Kennesaw) prior to 1824. The first plat was laid out in 1833. Like most towns, Marietta had a square (see Marietta Square) in the center with a courthouse. The Georgia General Assembly legally recognized the community on December 19, 1834.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist College near Marietta GA
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional 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 achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Marietta GA.
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