How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Woodstock 30188
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Woodstock GA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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 diverse settings, such as Woodstock GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Woodstock GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Woodstock GA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered 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 existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more 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 close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Woodstock GA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Woodstock GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 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 choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact a few Woodstock GA physical therapy centers or other healthcare 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 prudent to contact the Georgia Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low 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 support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Woodstock GA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Woodstock GA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Woodstock health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Woodstock GA residence. Students 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 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Woodstock GA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Woodstock Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Woodstock GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Woodstock is a city in Cherokee County, Georgia, United States. The population was 23,896 at the 2010 census. Originally a stop on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, Woodstock is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. In 2007 it was the tenth fastest-growing suburb in the United States.
Woodstock is located in southern Cherokee County at 34°6′5″N 84°31′10″W / 34.10139°N 84.51944°W / 34.10139; -84.51944 (34.100731, -84.518972).Interstate 575 passes through the western side of the city, with access from exits 7, 8, and 9. Downtown Atlanta is 30 miles (48 km) to the south, and Canton, the Cherokee County seat, is 11 miles (18 km) north.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Woodstock has a total area of 11.3 square miles (29.2 km2), of which 11.2 square miles (28.9 km2) is land and 0.12 square miles (0.3 km2), or 0.92%, is water.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Woodstock GA
Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Woodstock GA.
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