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Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Sparta TN

How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Sparta 38583

Sparta TN physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Sparta TN is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must 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?

Sparta TN physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Sparta TN private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Sparta TN health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage 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 getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Sparta TN physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Sparta TN area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Sparta TNWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Sparta TN residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want 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 Sparta TN area and throughout Tennessee, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at 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 may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Sparta TN physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Tennessee Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Sparta TN area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Sparta TN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Sparta healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Sparta TN home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to 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 Sparta TN area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Sparta Tennessee?

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

Sparta, Tennessee

Sparta nearly became the capital of the state of Tennessee, as, early in the history of Tennessee, the state legislature voted to choose a location for the permanent state capital. The final vote resulted in a near tie between Sparta and Nashville. Sparta lost to Nashville by one vote.[7]

Sparta grew quickly due to its location along the stage road between Knoxville and Nashville. In the 1830s, brothers Barlow and Madison Fisk built the Sparta Rock House, which served as an inn along the stage road. The Rock House, strategically situated in an area where the Cumberland Plateau gives way to the Calfkiller valley, was a common stopover for figures important to the early history of the state, including Andrew Jackson and Sam Houston.[8] The building is now a state historic site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Sparta is notable as a place where two renowned airmen lost their lives. Hawthorne C. Gray, an aviation record holder, died in a balloon-basket mishap over Sparta in 1927, and Lansing Holden, a World War I flying ace, crashed his plane near Sparta in 1938.

Select the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Sparta TN

Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Sparta TN.

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