How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Big Bear City 92314
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Big Bear City CA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Big Bear City CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Big Bear City CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Big Bear City CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of 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 mandated 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Big Bear City CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Big Bear City CA area and across California, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Big Bear City CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Big Bear City CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number 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 Big Bear City CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Big Bear City medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Big Bear City CA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Big Bear City CA area, check that they are offered. 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 due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Big Bear City California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Big Bear City CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Big Bear City, California
Big Bear City is an unincorporated town in San Bernardino County, California, United States along the east shore of Big Bear Lake and surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest. It is located 27 miles (43 km) northeast of the city of San Bernardino, and immediately east of the incorporated city of Big Bear Lake. Its population was 12,304 at the 2010 census, up from 5,779 at the 2000 census. The makeup of Big Bear City is mostly residential with smaller houses and cabins laid out in typical square block fashion.
It is located immediately east of Big Bear Lake, in-between the city of Big Bear Lake and Baldwin Lake. The town is situated on Big Bear Lake's south shore. Standard Air Lines of Los Angeles began a regular airline service to the community in the summer of 1929. Big Bear City Park is located at Greenway and houses picnic tables, a recreation hall, and the Eleanor Abbott Historical Museum (Big Bear Valley Historical Museum). Its post office was founded as Van Duesen in 1927, but changed it name to Big Bear City six months after. The Big Bear City Post Office opened in 1928 and still operates.
Big Bear got its name due to the large number of grizzly bears that once roamed the area. Although grizzly bears went extinct in the valley at the turn of the 20th century, there are still thousands of black bears found in Big Bear Valley.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Big Bear City CA
Picking the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Big Bear City CA.
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