How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Pearson 31642
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Pearson GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about 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?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Pearson GA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Pearson GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage 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 thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Pearson GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Pearson GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Pearson GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you select 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 therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 choose an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Pearson GA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Pearson GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Pearson GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Pearson healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Pearson GA home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Pearson GA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Pearson Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Pearson GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Pearson was founded in 1875 as a depot on the Brunswick and Western Railroad. It was incorporated as a town in 1890 and in 1916 as a city. The community was named after Benajah Pearson, a veteran of the Second Seminole War.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,805 people, 635 households, and 417 families residing in the city. The population density was 624.1 people per square mile (241.1/km²). There were 742 housing units at an average density of 256.6 per square mile (99.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 38.73% White, 38.45% African American, 1.05% Native American, 21.61% from other races, and 0.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.20% of the population.
There were 635 households out of which 38.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.8% were married couples living together, 21.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.43.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Pearson GA
Selecting the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the medical 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 additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach 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 best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Pearson GA.
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