How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Boulder Creek 95006
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Boulder Creek CA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Boulder Creek CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try 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.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Boulder Creek CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Boulder Creek CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Boulder Creek CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like 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 so many PT schools within the Boulder Creek CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Boulder Creek CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It may also be a good idea 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Boulder Creek CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Boulder Creek CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Boulder Creek healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Boulder Creek CA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry 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 school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Boulder Creek CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Boulder Creek California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Boulder Creek CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Boulder Creek, California
Boulder Creek served as the upper terminus of the San Lorenzo Valley Logging Flume terminating in Felton, which began construction in 1874 and when formally opened in October 1875 was augmented by a new rail line to transport logs to the wharf in Santa Cruz. In the 1880s, this lumber town which was called Lorenzo took the name of the Boulder Creek post office that had been established in the 1870s.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Boulder Creek had a population of 4,923. The population density was 655.4 people per square mile (253.0/km²). The racial makeup of Boulder Creek was 4,429 (90.0%) White, 54 (1.1%) African American, 31 (0.6%) Native American, 81 (1.6%) Asian, 5 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 119 (2.4%) from other races, and 204 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 366 persons (7.4%).
There were 2,124 households, out of which 548 (25.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 997 (46.9%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 176 (8.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 97 (4.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 189 (8.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 29 (1.4%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 598 households (28.2%) were made up of individuals and 129 (6.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32. There were 1,270 families (59.8% of all households); the average family size was 2.80.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist College near Boulder Creek CA
Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Boulder Creek CA.
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