How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Blairsden-Graeagle 96103
Earning a physical therapist degree near Blairsden-Graeagle CA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose 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 must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Blairsden-Graeagle CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. 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 individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Blairsden-Graeagle CA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Blairsden-Graeagle CA area:
- Associate Degrees train 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 usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Blairsden-Graeagle CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Blairsden-Graeagle CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask 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 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 enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Blairsden-Graeagle CA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Blairsden-Graeagle CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Blairsden-Graeagle CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Blairsden-Graeagle medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Blairsden-Graeagle CA residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Blairsden-Graeagle CA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask 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 Blairsden-Graeagle California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Blairsden-Graeagle CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Graeagle is a census-designated place (CDP) located about 60 miles (97 km) from Reno, Nevada and 46 miles (74 km) from Truckee, California in Plumas County, California, United States. The population was 737 at the 2010 census, down from 831 at the 2000 census.
The town of Graeagle was founded in 1916, as a lumber town, and established a post office in 1919 with the moniker of Davies Mill. It was named Graeagle after a naming contest to select a better name than "Davies' Mill;" the winning entry contracted "Grey Eagle Creek" to Graeagle. This name may have some connection with Edward D Baker, the "Gray Eagle of Republicanism," who was in the mining region in 1856 while stumping the state for Frémont.
Graeagle Lumber Company was owned by the California Fruit Exchange and employed hundreds in logging, lumber production and to manufacture box shook (boxes for picking and shipping fruit and vegetables) from the 1920s to the 1950s. Modernization closed the mill in 1956, the box factory in 1957 and the town was acquired by the West family in 1959.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Blairsden-Graeagle CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Blairsden-Graeagle CA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in California