How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Zebulon 30295
Earning a physical therapy degree near Zebulon GA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Zebulon GA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Zebulon GA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate 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. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Zebulon GA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready 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 becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some 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 implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Zebulon GA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools 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 attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, 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 colleges within the Zebulon GA area and across Georgia, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just 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 an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Zebulon GA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to contact 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 Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Zebulon GA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Zebulon GA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Zebulon medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Zebulon GA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Zebulon GA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure 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 Zebulon Georgia?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Zebulon GA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Zebulon is a city in Pike County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,181 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Pike County. The city and county were named after explorer Zebulon Pike.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.2 km²), of which 3.5 square miles (9.0 km²) is land and 0.04 square mile (0.1 km²) (1.13%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,181 people, 464 households, and 324 families residing in the city. The population density was 338.0 people per square mile (130.7/km²). There were 499 housing units at an average density of 142.8 per square mile (55.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.12% White, 36.92% African American, 0.08% Native American, 1.27% Asian, 0.68% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.95% of the population.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Zebulon GA
Selecting the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. 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. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Zebulon GA.
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