How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Rutledge 30663
Getting a physical therapy degree near Rutledge GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally 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 essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Rutledge GA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing 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 resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Rutledge GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Rutledge GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 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 must also 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 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Rutledge GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Rutledge GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Rutledge GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Rutledge GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Rutledge GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Rutledge medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Rutledge GA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online 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 keep 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Rutledge GA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Rutledge Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Rutledge GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Edward Rutledge (November 23, 1749 – January 23, 1800) was an American politician, and youngest signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. He later served as the 39th Governor of South Carolina.
Like his eldest brother John Rutledge, Edward was born in Charleston. He was the youngest of seven children (5 sons and 2 daughters) born to Dr. John Rutledge and Sarah Hext. His father was a physician and colonist of Scots-Irish descent; his mother was born in South Carolina and was of English descent. Following his brothers John and Hugh he studied law in London at the Inns of Court. In 1772 he was admitted to the English bar (Middle Temple), and returned to Charleston to practice. He was married on March 1, 1774 to Henrietta Middleton (17 November 1750 – 22 April 1792), daughter of Henry Middleton. The couple had three children;
During the American Revolution Rutledge served along with his brother John representing South Carolina in the Continental Congress. He worked to have African Americans expelled from the Continental Army. Although a firm supporter of colonial rights, he (as a delegate) was instructed initially to oppose Lee's Resolution of independence; South Carolina's leaders were unsure that the time was "ripe." At age 26 he was the youngest delegate to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Rutledge GA
Choosing the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Rutledge GA.
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