How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Bellflower 90706
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Bellflower CA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to 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 requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Bellflower CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Bellflower CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue 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 preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Bellflower CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate 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 must also 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 commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bellflower CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Bellflower CA area and across California, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Bellflower CA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bellflower CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Bellflower CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Bellflower healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Bellflower CA home. 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 importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bellflower CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bellflower California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bellflower CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bellflower is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. It was founded in 1906 and incorporated on September 3, 1957. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 76,616, up from 72,878 at the 2000 census. As of the 2010 census, Bellflower is the 25th most densely populated city in the United States, of cities over 50,000 residents (and 8th most densely populated in California).
The city was founded by F.E. Woodruff in 1906 and originally named Somerset in 1909 when the post office was established. However, the Post Office Department rejected the name to prevent confusion with Somerset, Colorado. The present name is derived from the bellflower apple, which was grown in local orchards during the early 1900s.
Originally settled by small communities of dairy farmers of Dutch, Japanese, and Portuguese descent, Bellflower and neighboring Paramount served first as the apple and later the milk production centers for Southern California, until soaring post-World War II property values and threatened annexations by Los Angeles led by real-estate syndicates, forced most of the farmers to move several miles east to the Dairy Valley/Dairyland/Dairy City area (now the cities of Cerritos, La Palma, and Cypress). These farms were in turn divided up into large housing divisions for Los Angeles's growing White American population which worked in the region's high-tech, skilled industrial, and service positions. From the 1950s through the late 1960s, Bellflower Boulevard, the city's main thoroughfare, was a thriving commercial strip for shopping. Numerous retail and franchise restaurant firms began on this street, which also featured middle- and high-end boutiques, arts and crafts shops, and other small shopkeeps alongside larger department stores and banks. It is sister cities with Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Bellflower CA
Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize 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 field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Bellflower CA.
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