How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Snellville 30039
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Snellville GA is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 work in varying locations, including Snellville GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Snellville GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Snellville GA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often incorporate 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 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 overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Snellville GA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Snellville GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Snellville GA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Snellville GA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Snellville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Snellville medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Snellville 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Snellville GA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol 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 Snellville Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Snellville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
In 1874 Thomas Snell and James Sawyer, seventeen-year-old friends from London, secretly planned a voyage to the New World. On March 18, James Sawyer and his brother, Charles, left England. However, Snell's parents, having learned of the plan, wouldn't allow him to leave, thus delaying his departure. The Sawyer brothers arrived in New York on April 1, and after a few weeks headed toward Athens, Georgia, and then to Madison County, where they stayed and worked on a farm for $10 a month. Snell did eventually follow his friends to New York and made his way south to meet them. The three then made their way through Jefferson and Lawrenceville. Shortly after Snell's arrival, Charles left for Pennsylvania, later returning to the South and settling in Alabama, where he went into the turpentine business. James had gone also, in search of his brother, leaving Snell to work on the farm of A. A. Dyer.
Unable to find his brother, James Sawyer returned to New York and began work on a farm near the Hudson River area until his 21st birthday in 1878, when he returned to England to claim his inheritance. Shortly following, in August 1879, he returned to Americus, Georgia, and then Gwinnett County. Once in Gwinnett County, Sawyer found Snell in the small settlement then known as New London, near Stone Mountain. In the homestead that Snell now referred to as Snellville, the two built a small wood frame building and started a business together, Snell and Sawyer's Store, similar to the one in which they were employed in London. As was common in small mill towns of the time, they printed store money with the trade value and Snell's likeness on the front that regular customers could use to purchase goods. By the end of 1879, the business was prospering and catering to customers from the neighboring towns of Lawrenceville and Loganville. Travelers would buy supplies at "Snell and Sawyer's" and often spend the night in the nearby oak groves, as the trip was too great for one day's travel. It is uncertain when New London officially became Snellville, but the location of the partners' store was referred to as Snellville in their advertising, and the young town began to show a promising future.
The partnership later dissolved, and Sawyer kept the old store, building granite stone above and around the old frame and then disassembling the wood frame from within. Snell built a new store of granite. In 1883 Sawyer built a home and married Emma Webb, of the historic Snellville Webb family, on November 15. Sawyer opened Snellville's first post office in 1885 and served as postmaster from the back of his store.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy School near Snellville GA
Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Snellville GA.
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