How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Stone Mountain 30083
Earning a physical therapy degree near Stone Mountain GA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Stone Mountain 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 stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Stone Mountain GA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. 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 often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Stone Mountain GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. 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 training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Stone Mountain GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Stone Mountain GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting 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. Call several Stone Mountain GA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Stone Mountain GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Georgia or the state where you will be working. 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, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have partnerships with Stone Mountain GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Stone Mountain medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Stone Mountain GA home. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might 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 to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Stone Mountain GA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Stone Mountain Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Stone Mountain GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Stone Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain is a city in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,802 at the 2010 census. Stone Mountain is located in the eastern part of DeKalb County and is a suburb of Atlanta. It lies near to but does not include the geological formation Stone Mountain.
In 1822, the area that now makes up the city of Stone Mountain was made a part of the newly formed DeKalb County. A post office was created in 1834 on the old Augusta Road, and Andrew Johnson built a hotel along the road in 1836. At around the same time, Aaron Cloud built an observation tower at the summit of the mountain. Visitors to the mountain would travel to the area by rail and road, and then hike up the 1.1-mile (1.8 km) mountaintop trail to the top, where Cloud also had a restaurant and club.
By 1839, a general store was added, and a village was established under the name New Gibraltar. The name was officially changed to Stone Mountain by the Georgia legislature in 1847. The town is named for nearby Stone Mountain. During the Civil War, Stone Mountain village was destroyed by men under the command of General James B. McPherson on July 19, 1864.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Stone Mountain GA
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able 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 practicing physical therapist in Stone Mountain GA.
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