How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Tucker 30084
Getting a physical therapist degree near Tucker GA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Tucker GA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Tucker GA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite 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 Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Tucker GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 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 three years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 offered 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 present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Tucker GA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Tucker GA area and throughout Georgia, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional 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 refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Tucker GA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Tucker GA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Tucker GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Tucker health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Tucker GA residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Tucker GA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Tucker Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Tucker GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tucker is a city located in DeKalb County, Georgia, United States. It is located near Atlanta and was originally settled in the 1820s, and later developed as a railroad community in 1892. According to the 2016 United States Census Bureau annual estimate of resident population, it has a population of 35,322. In a November 2015 referendum, by a 3:1 margin (73.94%), voters approved incorporating Tucker into a city. In March 2016, Tucker residents elected the city’s first mayor and city council. 
The 1821 Georgia Land Lottery opened portions of state land for settlement between the Flint and Ocmulgee rivers, including present-day DeKalb County. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation ceded the land to the United States in January of that year, and drawings for lots measuring 202.5 acres (81.9 ha) each began in May in Milledgeville, the state capital until 1868. The land grant fee was $19.00.
In 1821, the area that would become Tucker was in Militia District 572 in Henry County. The state created DeKalb County on December 9, 1822, and District 572 became DeKalb's 18th District, or the Brownings District, reportedly named for Andrew Browning.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist College near Tucker GA
Choosing the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Tucker GA.
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