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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Meansville 30256

Meansville GA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Meansville GA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with 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?

Meansville GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Meansville GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. 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 experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Meansville GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Meansville GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Meansville GA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require 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 created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Meansville GAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Meansville GA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may 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, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Meansville GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online college, it may 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, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for 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. Get in touch with a few Meansville GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of 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 Meansville GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Meansville GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Meansville health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Meansville GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Meansville GA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative 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 illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Meansville Georgia?

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

Meansville, Georgia

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 192 people, 73 households, and 58 families residing in the city. The population density was 365.9 people per square mile (142.6/km²). There were 78 housing units at an average density of 148.7 per square mile (57.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.17% White, 17.19% African American, 2.08% Native American, 0.52% from other races, and 1.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.17% of the population.

There were 73 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.4% were married couples living together, 15.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.2% were non-families. 17.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.63 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.

Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Meansville GA

Choosing the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Meansville GA.

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