Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Cambria CA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Cambria 93428

Cambria CA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Cambria CA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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?

Cambria CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Cambria CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cambria CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Cambria CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as 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. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Cambria CA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually 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 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 seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Cambria CAAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so 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 requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cambria CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Cambria CA area and across California, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 also. Call some Cambria CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cambria CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Cambria CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Cambria medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Cambria CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cambria CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cambria California?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cambria CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Cambria, California

Cambria /ˈkeɪmbriə/ is a seaside village in San Luis Obispo County, California, United States midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along California State Route 1 (Highway 1). The name Cambria, chosen in 1869, is the Latin name for Wales. Cambria is situated amidst Monterey pines in one of only three such native forests.[3] Previously, the town had gone by the names of Slabtown, Rosaville, San Simeon, and Santa Rosa. The corresponding census designated place (CDP) had a population of 6,032 at the 2010 census, slightly down from 6,232 at the 2000 census.

The earliest human settlement of this area is known to be associated with prehistoric habitation by the Native American Chumash peoples, who exploited marine resources along the coastal area, with emphasis upon sites that were close to rivers.[4]

Although our recorded history of the tribes in this region does not begin until the explorers and missionaries arrived, there is evidence of many tribal settlements in the area later known as Cambria. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people inhabited the area in the time (some 1,000 years) before the Spanish arrived. Experts believe these tribes to have been migratory and used Cambria as a seasonal settlement; other scientists are convinced that they lived there permanently. Most agree that they fed themselves with shellfish and seafood, as well as obtaining food from travels inland to hunt and gather seeds. A variety of artistically-crafted implements have been discovered, including spears points and arrowheads made from obsidian; basalt, sandstone, and granite were used to make mortars and pestles; soapstone kettles and stone hammers were also found. These early inhabitants were skilled basket and net makers and fashioned jewelry from crab claws, abalone shells, and the teeth of sharks and whales. The presence of soapstone (steatite) provides evidence that they traded with the Catalina Island tribes, whereas the lack of metals and glass indicates that they did not trade with Europeans or Asians.[5]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Cambria CA

Choosing the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Cambria CA.

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