How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Cedar Glen 92321
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Cedar Glen CA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Cedar Glen 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Cedar Glen CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Cedar Glen CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require two 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 therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some 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 Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cedar Glen CA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Cedar Glen CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research 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 as well. Contact a few Cedar Glen CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. 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, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cedar Glen CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both superior training and a curriculum 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Cedar Glen CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Cedar Glen medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Cedar Glen CA home. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Cedar Glen CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cedar Glen California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cedar Glen CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cedar Glen, California
As of the census of 2000, there were 552 people and 590 housing units. The racial makeup of the CDP was 86.6% White, <0.1% African American, <0.1% Native American, 9.2% Asian, 4.2% Pacific Islander, <0.1% from other races, and <0.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were <0.1% of the population.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy College near Cedar Glen CA
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Cedar Glen CA.
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