How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Citrus Heights 95610
Earning a physical therapist degree near Citrus Heights CA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Citrus Heights CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Citrus Heights CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Citrus Heights CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Citrus Heights CA home. Online programs 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 expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Citrus Heights CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn 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. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Citrus Heights CA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Citrus Heights CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Citrus Heights CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent 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 assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Citrus Heights healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Citrus Heights CA home. Individuals who have opted 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. Something to keep 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Citrus Heights CA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Citrus Heights California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Citrus Heights CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Citrus Heights, California
Citrus Heights is located at 38°42′N 121°17′W / 38.700°N 121.283°W / 38.700; -121.283 (38.6947, -121.2905). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.2 square miles (37 km2), all land. The city incorporated January 2, 1997 (January 1 according to the official city website), becoming the fifth city in Sacramento County.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Citrus Heights had a population of 83,301. The population density was 5,854.6 people per square mile (2,260.5/km²). The racial makeup of Citrus Heights was 66,856 (80.3%) White, 2,751 (3.3%) African American, 753 (0.9%) Native American, 2,714 (3.3%) Asian (1.2% Filipino, 0.4% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.3% Japanese, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.4% Other), 363 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 5,348 (6.4%) from other races, and 4,516 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13,734 persons (16.5%).
There were 32,686 households, out of which 10,452 (32.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 14,241 (43.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,689 (14.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,027 (6.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,653 (8.1%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 252 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 8,860 households (27.1%) were made up of individuals and 3,280 (10.0%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53. There were 20,957 families (64.1% of all households); the average family size was 3.08.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Citrus Heights CA
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Citrus Heights CA.
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