How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Oakwood 30566
Earning a physical therapy degree near Oakwood GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not 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 relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Oakwood GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Oakwood GA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Oakwood GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be 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 GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oakwood GA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Oakwood GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’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 a few Oakwood GA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Oakwood GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While 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 Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Oakwood GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Oakwood health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Oakwood GA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oakwood GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oakwood Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Oakwood GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Oakwood is a city in Hall County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Gainesville, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 3,970 at the 2010 census, up from 2,689 in 2000. Oakwood is home to the University of North Georgia Gainesville Campus and Wayne Farms.
Oakwood is located southwest of the center of Hall County at 34°13′52″N 83°52′57″W / 34.23111°N 83.88250°W / 34.23111; -83.88250 (34.230976, −83.882364). It is bordered to the northeast by the city of Gainesville, the county seat, and to the southwest by the city of Flowery Branch.
Oakwood was named after the railroad tracks that ran, and still are running as of 2008, through Oakwood and Gainesville. Because most of the cars contained wood (particularly high quality oak), it seemed reasonable to name the city after that type of lumber.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Oakwood GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve 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 right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Oakwood GA.
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