How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Antioch 94509
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Antioch CA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Antioch CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Antioch CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as 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. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Antioch CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Antioch CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Antioch CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Antioch CA physical therapy centers or other health 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 may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Antioch CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. 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 program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some 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 therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Antioch CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Antioch healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Antioch CA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Antioch CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Antioch California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Antioch CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Antioch (formerly, East Antioch, Smith's Landing, and Marshs Landing) is the second largest city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. Located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area along the San Joaquin-Sacramento River Delta, it is a suburb of San Francisco and Oakland. The city's population was 102,372 at the 2010 census and estimated to be 110,542 in 2015.
Antioch is one of the oldest towns in California. In 1848, John Marsh, owner of Rancho Los Meganos, one of the largest ranches in California, built a landing on the San Joaquin River in what is now Antioch. It became known as Marsh's Landing, and was the shipping point for the 17,000-acre rancho. It included a pier extending well out into the river, enabling vessels drawing 15 feet of water to tie up there at any season of the year. The landing also included a slaughterhouse, smokehouse for curing hams, rodeo grounds, and even a 1½-story dwelling, embellished with fretwork, that was brought around the Horn to serve as a home for the mayordomo (manager) and his wife.
In 1850, two brothers, William and Joseph Smith, founded a town slightly west of Marsh's Landing, and named it Smith's Landing. In 1851, the town's new minister persuaded the residents to change the name of the town to Antioch, for the biblical city of Antioch.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Antioch CA
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Antioch CA.
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