Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Gretna LA

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Gretna 70053

Gretna LA physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Gretna LA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, 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 evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest 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 talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Gretna LA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Gretna LA 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop 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.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Gretna LA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Gretna LA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Gretna LA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and usually 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Gretna LAWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so 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 school 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 Gretna LA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, 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 Gretna LA area and throughout Louisiana, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Gretna LA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Louisiana Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Gretna LA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Louisiana 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 therapist college. 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 additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Gretna LA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Gretna medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Gretna LA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Gretna LA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Gretna Louisiana?

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

Gretna, Louisiana

Gretna is the second-largest city and parish seat of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, United States.[4][5] Gretna lies on the west bank of the Mississippi River, just east and across the river from uptown New Orleans. It is part of the New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 17,736 at the 2010 census.[6]

Gretna is located at 29°54′59″N 90°3′15″W / 29.91639°N 90.05417°W / 29.91639; -90.05417 (29.916459, -90.054260)[7] and has an elevation of 0 feet (0 m)[1] behind the levee along the Mississippi River.

Gretna was settled in 1836,[8] originally as Mechanicsham, growing with a station on the Mississippi River for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, Texas and Pacific Railway, and Southern Pacific Railroad, with a ferry across the River to New Orleans. The famous spice-maker Zatarain's was founded here in 1889. Gretna was incorporated in 1913, absorbing the section of McDonogh within the Jefferson Parish boundaries. In the 1940 census, Gretna had a population of 10,879.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Gretna LA

Picking the ideal physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Gretna LA.

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