How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Ocilla 31774
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Ocilla GA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with 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 cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Ocilla 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Ocilla GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Ocilla GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, 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 attainable 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 prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Ocilla GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Ocilla GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate 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 also. Call a few Ocilla GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. 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 schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 Ocilla GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Ocilla GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Ocilla healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Ocilla GA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Ocilla GA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ocilla Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ocilla GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Ocilla was founded in 1880, incorporated as a town in 1897, and finally re-incorporated as a city in 1902. It is not clear whether Ocilla is named for the Seminole Chief Osceola, for an Oswichee Native American tribe, or, as proposed by historian John Goff, it could be an adaptation of the place name Auscilla. A 1981 Fitzgerald Herald-Leader says that "a tribe of Oswichee Indians once lived near the Ocmulgee River on land known in 1818 as Irwin County." There, towns were called Oswitchee and Ocilla, and sometimes Ocichi. The French census shows that a town called Ocichi existed there in 1750. A later census in 1832 gives Oswhichee as the name of another Indian village close to Osochi." It goes on with "The town's name was changed seven times. It was called by the Indians Assile, next Aglie, Axilla, Agulu, Ochile, and lastly Ocilla." This theory is less popular today.
The most popular theory is that Ocilla is named for Chief Osceola, who had a prominent role in the Second Seminole War. Allegedly, he camped in the area known as Western Heights in Ocilla and frequently could be found in the area until his capture and imprisonment at Fort Moultrie, South Carolina. Osceola is probably the reason that the sports teams in Irwin County are now known as the Indians.
In the 1980s and 1990s Marie Watson was known in Ocilla as the "Christmas Lady." Watson would intricately decorate the property around her home on Cherry Street with lights and Christmas decorations and each year "Santa Claus" would visit the property, taking wishes for gifts from children. Watson became famous for her Christmas cheer but eventually stopped due to the hassle of decorating and because of her older age. Today, her tradition is somewhat carried on every year as the City of Ocilla now decorates Cumbee Park, the public park directly in front of Watson's former home, and holds a yearly session with Santa Claus.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Ocilla GA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Ocilla GA.
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