How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Springfield 29146
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Springfield SC is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Springfield SC hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Springfield SC medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Springfield SC area:
- Associate Degrees educate 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 GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Springfield SC residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Springfield SC area and throughout South Carolina, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Springfield SC physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the South Carolina 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 couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Springfield SC area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for South Carolina or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Springfield SC clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Springfield healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Springfield SC residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Springfield SC area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Springfield South Carolina?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Springfield SC area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Springfield, South Carolina
As of the census of 2000, there were 504 people, 228 households, and 152 families residing in the town. The population density was 322.8 people per square mile (124.7/km²). There were 263 housing units at an average density of 168.4 per square mile (65.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 69.84% White, 29.37% African American, 0.60% Native American and 0.20% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.79% of the population.
There were 228 households out of which 22.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 18.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.74.
In the town, the population was spread out with 20.2% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 22.4% from 25 to 44, 26.8% from 45 to 64, and 23.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females, there were 83.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 74.8 males.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Springfield SC
Picking the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Springfield SC.
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