Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Acton CA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Acton 93510

Acton CA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Acton CA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Acton CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Acton CA private practices, hospitals, 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 mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Acton CA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Acton CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Acton CA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Acton CAAlthough not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Acton CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses 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 motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary 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 invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Acton CA area and across California, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose 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 may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Acton CA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might 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 placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Acton CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Acton CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical training 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 relationships in the Acton healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor 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 pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Acton CA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Acton CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Acton California?

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

Acton, California

Acton is a small residential community located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains. It is off the Antelope Valley Freeway (Highway 14) near Palmdale. Acton is roughly 20 miles (32 km) northeast of the San Fernando Valley and 47 miles (76 km) north of downtown Los Angeles. The town has a rural western theme which can be seen in its homes, commercial buildings, and historical buildings (some of which date back to the late 1800s). The homes in the mountains around Acton have great views of the valley below. In the valley are ranch style homes, often with equestrian facilities. While Acton is not a part of the Antelope Valley, it is grouped together with the "AV" in the General Plan. Acton has a Metrolink commuter rail station on its border with Palmdale that is themed in an "old western" style and has been seen in various movies and commercials.

Acton was founded in 1887 by gold miners who were working in the Red Rover Mine. It was named after Acton, Massachusetts by one of the miners. Two of the best-known gold mines located in Acton were the Red Rover mine and the Governor mine. Mining of gold, copper, and titanium ore continued into the early 1900s.[citation needed] The town originally had served as a railroad camp from 1873 to 1876 when the Saugus-Mojave section of the Southern Pacific Railroad was under construction.[4]

Acton was once considered for the State capital of California. California Governor Henry T. Gage (1899–1903) owned the Governor Mine, hence the name, and sought to relocate the capital to Acton. This effort ultimately failed and the capital was not moved from Sacramento. In the late 1880s, Acton started to become more of a ranching and farming community. In 1889, Acton's first hotel and its first saloon, the 49er was opened, and it is still open for business today.

Choose the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Acton CA

Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Acton CA.

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