How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Clayton 94517
Getting a physical therapy degree near Clayton CA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Clayton CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Clayton CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Clayton CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and commonly include 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 finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 available 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 existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clayton CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Clayton CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Clayton CA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school selections. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clayton CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Clayton CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Clayton medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Clayton CA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently 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 type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer 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 Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clayton CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clayton California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clayton CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
In 1857, the town of Clayton was laid out and founded by Joel Henry Clayton (1812–1872) and his two younger brothers. Clayton was born in Bugsworth, now Buxworth, in the United Kingdom, and emigrated to the United States in 1837. After years in other states he settled down with his wife Margaret (1820–1908) at his town at the foot of Mount Diablo, where he and his family prospered. Clayton was named after Joel Henry Clayton, although only by the flip of a coin. Joel Clayton and Charles Rhine cofounded the town, and each wanted to name it after himself. If Charles had won it would have become Rhinesville, but Joel Clayton won. Joel and his wife Margaret both died in Clayton, and were buried in Live Oak Cemetery in what is now Concord, CA.
Clayton prospered during the coal mining boom in eastern Contra Costa County. The post office opened in 1861. Following a previous incorporation attempt in 1960, Clayton incorporated in 1964  in order to stave off an annexation attempt in 1963 of the Cardinet Glen neighborhood by nearby Concord. After steady expansion during the 1970s to the east and west from its original boundaries, Clayton's land area more than doubled in 1987 to near its present-day boundaries with the annexations of the Dana Hills/Dana Ridge and Clayton Wood subdivisions, as well as the former Keller Ranch property that was developed during the 1990s with the Oakhurst Country Club.
On September 8, 2013, fire broke out on Mount Diablo. Called the Morgan Fire, it started at the mercury mine area of Morgan Territory Road. The fire grew quickly and threatened homes and livestock. Evacuations were ordered for several areas, including Oak Hill Lane and Curry Canyon. It took over 1000 firefighters and eight aircraft to extinguish it. Full containment was announced on September 14, 2013, having burned 1,259 ha (3,111 acres).
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Clayton CA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding 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 decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active 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 be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Clayton CA.
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