How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Preston 31824
Getting a physical therapy degree near Preston GA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Preston GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though 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.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Preston GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Preston GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Preston GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Preston GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 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 choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Preston GA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left 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 assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Preston GA area? If a program 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 program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Preston 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 an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Preston health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Preston GA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Preston GA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn 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 Preston Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Preston GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Preston is an unincorporated community in Webster County, Georgia, United States, located seventeen miles west of Americus. The population was 453 at the 2000 census. From 1857 to 2009, Preston was an incorporated municipality. The community is the county seat of Webster County.
Preston was founded in 1856 as the seat of Webster County. It was incorporated as a town in 1857 and as a city in 1977. In 2009, the city was disincorporated and became part of the Unified Government of Webster County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 453 people, 190 households, and 129 families residing in the town. The population density was 100.1 people per square mile (38.6/km²). There were 205 housing units at an average density of 45.3 per square mile (17.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.77% White, 28.26% African American, 0.22% Native American, 3.53% from other races, and 0.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.75% of the population.
Select the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Preston GA
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Preston GA.
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