How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Norcross 30003
Earning a physical therapist degree near Norcross GA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Norcross GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Norcross GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Norcross GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Norcross GA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, 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 colleges within the Norcross GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Norcross GA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Norcross GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Norcross GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Norcross healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing 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 final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Norcross GA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Norcross GA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Norcross Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Norcross GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Norcross is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 9,116, while in 2015 the estimated population was 16,634. It is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan statistical area, which is included in the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Gainesville combined statistical area.
The city sits along the Eastern Continental Divide. Streams to the west of the city center travel to the Chattahoochee River and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico, while streams to the east flow to the Yellow River, a tributary of the Ocmulgee River, which flows to the Atlantic Ocean north of Brunswick. This divide, or ridge, played a significant role in the early settlement of the area. Originally, the Creek and Cherokee people occupied this land, and the ridgeline was used as a major transportation route. Two American forts were established in the early 19th century due to the War of 1812: Fort Daniel (at Hog Mountain) and Peachtree Fort (in Atlanta). These two forts were connected by this old Indian trail which became known as the original Peachtree Road. By around 1840, this trail had evolved into a stagecoach route connecting South Carolina and Alabama through Georgia. The surrounding area became populated, and the small communities of Pinckneyville and Flint Hill prospered.
This all changed with the creation of the Richmond-Danville Railroad, designed to open up the wilderness areas of northeast Georgia. The railroad was proposed in 1856 by Jonathan Norcross (a former Atlanta mayor) and was subsequently approved. Construction was delayed, however, until 1866 because of the Civil War. On September 12, 1869, the first 20 miles (32 km) were completed. On October 16, 1889, John J. Thrasher bought the 250 acres (1.0 km2) surrounding the terminal for $1,650, and a town was born – named for Thrasher's good friend, Jonathan Norcross. The Brunswick Hotel was built in 1870, and Norcross quickly became known as a resort area, much like East Lake, for Atlantans wanting to escape the rapidly growing city. The new town also meant the demise of the surrounding communities of Pinckneyville and Flint Hill, as people migrated in to build houses, churches, schools, and to be near the railroad.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Norcross GA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Norcross GA.
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