Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Summerville GA

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Summerville 30747

Summerville GA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Summerville GA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy 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 most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Summerville GA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Summerville GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Summerville GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Summerville GA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Summerville GA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out 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 before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Summerville GAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Summerville GA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Summerville GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School 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 doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Summerville GA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Summerville GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. In each 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 PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Summerville GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Summerville health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Summerville GA residence. Individuals who have opted 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 importance. One thing 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Summerville GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Summerville Georgia?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Summerville GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Summerville, Georgia

Summerville was founded in 1838 as seat of the newly formed Chattooga County. It was incorporated as a town in 1839 and as a city in 1909.[5] Summerville was named from the fact it was a popular summer resort.[6] The city thrived in the late 1880s with the construction of the Chattanooga, Rome and Columbus Railroad (later part of the Central of Georgia system).[7]

The Chattooga County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was completed in 1909.[7] The Summerville Depot, completed by the Central of Georgia in 1918, is also listed on the National Register, and is home to several annual festivals.[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 square miles (10.3 km²), all of it land. The city lies along the Chattooga River at the western base of an elongate mountain known as Taylor Ridge. U.S. Route 27 connects Summerville with Chattanooga, Tennessee, to the north, and Rome to the southeast. Georgia State Route 114 connects the city with Lyerly to the south, and Georgia State Route 48 connects the city with Menlo near the Alabama state line to the west.

Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Summerville GA

Choosing the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Summerville GA.

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