How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Mcdonough 30252
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Mcdonough 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 due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Mcdonough GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Mcdonough GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single 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. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Mcdonough 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 obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior 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 developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 phased out 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 present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Mcdonough GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Mcdonough GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into 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 organizations for their reviews also. Call some Mcdonough GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left 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 assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Mcdonough 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 affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Mcdonough GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Mcdonough healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Mcdonough GA home. Individuals who have chosen 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. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Mcdonough GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mcdonough Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Mcdonough GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
McDonough is a city in Henry County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Its population was 22,084 at the 2010 census, up from 8,493 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Henry County.
The town was named for naval officer Commodore Thomas Macdonough and founded in 1823 around a traditional town square design. The buildings surrounding the square are intact, although there are some vacancies. The county courthouse and historic jail building are on the north side near the Welcome Center in a historically maintained Standard Oil service station, built in 1920. The station also houses the Main Street Program Office and Hospitality and Tourism Office. In the center of the square is a monument to Henry County's Confederate dead.
One block east of the square, the town's original cotton warehouse has been replaced with the Henry County Judicial Center. In the same area the Henry County Courthouse Annex has an original oil on canvas "Cotton Gin" (4½ by 11 feet) by artist Jean Charlot. He painted this oil in 1942 for the town post office. His works can be found all over the world in everything from children's books to large murals.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Mcdonough GA
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Mcdonough GA.
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