How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Newington 30446
Getting a physical therapist degree near Newington GA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Newington 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Newington GA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Newington 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so 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 close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Newington GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Newington GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Newington GA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Newington GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Newington GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Newington health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Newington GA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Newington GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Newington Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Newington GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2000, there were 322 people, 137 households, and 89 families residing in the town. The population density was 394.1 people per square mile (151.6/km²). There were 154 housing units at an average density of 188.5 per square mile (72.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 69.88% White, 25.78% African American, 1.24% from other races, and 3.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.11% of the population.
There were 137 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 15.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.0% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.98.
The population is spread out with 23.9% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 23.6% from 25 to 44, 23.0% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.5 males.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Newington GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Newington GA.
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