How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Moultrie 31768
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Moultrie GA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated 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 must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Moultrie GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Moultrie GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Moultrie GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and commonly 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 also must 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 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 present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Moultrie GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Moultrie GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting 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. Get in touch with several Moultrie GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Moultrie GA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Moultrie GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Moultrie medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Moultrie GA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in getting 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 eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Moultrie GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Moultrie Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Moultrie GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Moultrie is the county seat and largest city of Colquitt County, Georgia, United States. It is the third largest city in Southwest Georgia, behind Thomasville and Albany. As of the 2010 census, Moultrie's population was 14,268. It was originally known as Ochlockoney until it was incorporated by the Georgia General Assembly in 1859.
Moultrie is an agricultural community set in the Southern Rivers part of Georgia. It is well known for its antique shops and has been styled "The Antique Capital of South Georgia". Moultrie is the home of Former US Senator Saxby Chambliss.
Located in southwest Georgia, Moultrie is in the center of Colquitt County, 24 miles (39 km) west of Interstate 75, and about 200 miles (300 km) south of Atlanta and 60 miles (100 km) northeast of Tallahassee, Florida. The city is located between Albany to the northwest, Tifton to the northeast, Thomasville to the southwest, and Valdosta to the southeast.
Select the Best Physical Therapy School near Moultrie GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might 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 accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Moultrie GA.
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