How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Big Creek 93605
Getting a physical therapy degree near Big Creek CA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also 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 looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Big Creek CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Big Creek CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Big Creek 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 earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish 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 must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Big Creek CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as 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 considering there are so many PT colleges within the Big Creek CA area and across California, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Big Creek CA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Big Creek CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Big Creek CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Big Creek health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Big Creek CA home. Those who have opted 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. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college 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 confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Big Creek CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out 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 Big Creek California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Big Creek CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Big Creek, California
Big Creek (Big Creek Flats in the 1870s; Manzanita Park in 1902; until 1926, Cascada) is a small census-designated place in Fresno County, California, located in the Sierra Nevada on the north bank of Big Creek. It lies at an elevation of 4,984 feet (1,519 m) above sea level. Its population is 175. The ZIP code is 93605, and the community is inside area code 559.
Big Creek was built at the site of the first dam and power plant of Southern California Edison's Big Creek Hydroelectric Project, one of the most extensive in the world. Other than the private helipad owned by Southern California Edison, the only way in or out of the town is Big Creek Road, off of State Route 168. The dam has a walkway across it to the south bank, but access is limited to employees of SCE and those residents who have been given a key. Its major industries are electric power generation and tourism. There is camping and water recreation in the summer and snow skiing in the winter. Huntington Lake is to the northeast and Shaver Lake is to the south. China Peak is only about 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) away. Though Big Creek's only school is an elementary, it teaches kindergarten through 8th grade.
The penstock pipes for the original two units at Big Creek Power Houses One and Two, built 1912-13, were purchased from the Krupp Works in Germany because at that time that manufacturer produced steel pipes of the tensile strength needed to contain the very high water pressures in the pipes in the 1,500 foot (460 m) drop down to Power House One. These pipes were purchased twenty one years before the Nazi Party came to power in Germany, and before the NSDAP party even existed. There is visual evidence of swastikas (once used as a Hindu symbol of good luck) on Big Creek penstock pipe headers at Powerhouse 1 and 2. All post-World War One penstock pipes were manufactured in the United States. In addition, Big Creek is the hometown of Carver Mead, a Caltech electrical engineering professor who is responsible for developing the first Gallium Arsinide metal-semiconductor field-effect transistor (GaAs MESFET) and for his pioneering contributions to Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) design.
Select the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Big Creek CA
Choosing the best physical therapy program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college 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 different campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Big Creek CA.
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