Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Canoga Park CA

How to Pick a Physical Therapist College near Canoga Park 91303

Canoga Park CA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Canoga Park CA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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 the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Canoga Park CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Canoga Park CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Canoga Park CA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Canoga Park CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target 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 offered in the Canoga Park CA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Canoga Park CAAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, 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 incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Canoga Park CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Canoga Park CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the college that is best for you. That’s the reason 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 before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Canoga Park CA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact 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 important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Canoga Park CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both superior 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have associations with Canoga Park CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Canoga Park medical community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Canoga Park CA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Canoga Park CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Canoga Park California?

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

Canoga Park, Los Angeles

Canoga Park is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California, United States. Its 60,000+ residents are considered to be "highly diverse" ethnically. Before the Mexican–American War, the district was part of a rancho, and after the American victory it was converted into wheat farms and then subdivided, with part of it named Owensmouth as a town founded in 1912. It joined Los Angeles in 1917 and was renamed Canoga Park on March 1, 1931, thanks to the efforts of local civic leader Mary Logan Orcutt.

The area of present-day Canoga Park was the homeland of Native Americans in the Tongva-Fernandeño and Chumash-Venturaño tribes, that lived in the Simi Hills and along to the tributaries of the Los Angeles River. They traded with the north Valley Tataviam-Fernandeño people. Native American civilizations inhabited the Valley for an estimated 8,000 years.[1][2] Their culture left the Burro Flats Painted Cave nearby.[3]

From 1797 to 1846 the area was part of Mission San Fernando Rey de España (Mission San Fernando). After the Mexican War of Independence from Spain the 'future Canoga Park' land became part of Rancho Ex-Mission San Fernando. In 1845, a land grant for the separate and historically rich Rancho El Escorpión was issued by Governor Pío Pico to three Chumash people, Odón Eusebia, his brother-in-law Urbano, and Urbano's son Mañuel.[4][5][6] It was located in the area west of Fallbrook Avenue and later called Platt Ranch.[7][8]

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Canoga Park CA

Picking the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Canoga Park CA.

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