How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Riverdale 30274
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Riverdale GA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to 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 must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Riverdale GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share 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 often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Riverdale GA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Riverdale GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. 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 prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Riverdale GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Riverdale GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it can also obtain 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. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Riverdale GA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Riverdale GA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Riverdale GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Riverdale health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher 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 talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Riverdale GA home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance 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 offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Riverdale GA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Riverdale Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Riverdale GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Riverdale is a city in Clayton County, Georgia, United States. The population was 15,134 at the 2010 census, up from 12,478 in 2000. Riverdale is a suburb just south of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area.
The area now known as Riverdale was settled before the Civil War. In 1887, a railroad, built from Atlanta and Fort Valley, passed through Riverdale. Farmers in the area provided wood for the railroad. In turn, the farmers would get fertilizer. As the railroad grew, it needed more land. Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Rivers donated their land for the railroad to grow, and their land grew to become one of the railroad's main stops.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,478 people, 4,389 households, and 3,107 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,926.3 people per square mile (1,130.9/km²). There were 4,590 housing units at an average density of 1,076.4 per square mile (416.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.09% White, 67.42% African American, 0.30% Native American, 7.73% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 2.28% from other races, and 2.10% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.81% of the population.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Riverdale GA
Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Riverdale GA.
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