How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Carson 90745
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Carson CA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Carson CA private practices, hospitals, 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Carson CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available 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 brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Carson CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often include 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 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 total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Carson CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Carson CA area and across California, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Carson CA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Carson CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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 therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Carson CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Carson 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 undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Carson CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance 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 eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Carson CA area, make sure that they are offered. 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Carson California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Carson CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Carson is a city in Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 census, Carson had a population of 91,714. Located 13 miles (21 km) south of downtown Los Angeles and approximately 14 miles away from the Los Angeles International Airport. Incorporated on February 20, 1968, Carson is the youngest municipality in the South Bay region of Metropolitan Los Angeles.
1921 marked the first drilling for oil at Dominguez Hill, on the northwest side of the Dominguez Rancho, site of the famous battle during the Mexican–American War called the Battle of Dominguez Rancho in 1846. The mineral rights to this property were owned by Carson Estate Company, the Hellman Family, the Dominguez Estate Company, and the Burnham Exploration Company of Frederick Russell Burnham. On September 7, 1923, Burnham Exploration partnering with Union Oil brought in the first producer on the site: Callender No. 1-A well at a depth of 4,068 feet (1,240 m) and 1,193 barrels per day (189.7 m3/d). Before long a number of refineries were up and running, with over 350 oil derricks, tank farms, and sprawling industrial complexes becoming a familiar part of the scenery. The principal leases were with Shell Oil Company and Union Oil of California and the first two wells were located west of Central Avenue and north of Victoria Street. Oil led to an increase in jobs in the community and a subsequent post-war population surge. An average of 300 barrels per day (48 m3/d) was produced from each of these wells through 1960.
In 2011, Shell was ordered by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board to clean up the Carousel neighborhood after benzene and methane gas contamination was discovered, as well as soil and groundwater contamination.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Carson CA
Selecting the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current 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 adhering to 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 proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Carson CA.
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