How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Newnan 30263
Earning a physical therapy degree near Newnan GA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Newnan GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Newnan GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become 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. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Newnan GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Newnan GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses 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 option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Newnan GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may 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 important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Newnan GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once 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 Newnan GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Newnan GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Newnan medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Newnan GA residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Newnan GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Newnan Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Newnan GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Newnan is a city in Metro Atlanta and the county seat of Coweta County, Georgia, approximately 40 miles (64 km) southwest of Atlanta. The population was 33,039 at the 2010 census, up from 16,242 in 2000, for a growth rate of 103.4% over that decade.
Newnan was established as county seat of Coweta County (replacing the defunct town of Bullsboro) in 1828 and was named for North Carolinian General Daniel Newnan. It quickly became a prosperous magnet for lawyers, doctors, other professionals, and merchants. Much of Newnan's prosperity was due to its thriving cotton industry, which relied on slavery.
Newnan was largely untouched by the Civil War due to its status as a hospital city (for both Union and Confederate troops), and as a result still features much antebellum architecture . Celebrated architect Kennon Perry designed many of the town's 20th century homes. During the Atlanta Campaign, Confederate cavalry defeated Union forces at the nearby Battle of Brown's Mill.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Newnan GA
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Newnan GA.
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