How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Clearlake 95422
Getting a physical therapy degree near Clearlake CA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled 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 appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Clearlake CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Clearlake CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering 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 Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Clearlake CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently 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 offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clearlake CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Clearlake CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Clearlake 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 recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important 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 indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Clearlake CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate 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 Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Clearlake CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Clearlake healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Clearlake CA residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clearlake CA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clearlake California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clearlake CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Clearlake is a city in Lake County, California, United States. Clearlake is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north-northwest of Lower Lake, at an elevation of 1417 feet (432 m). As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 15,250, up from 13,142 in 2000.It takes its name from Clear Lake.
The first inhabitants of Clearlake were the Pomo Indians who gave the name to many of the areas features including Mount Konocti. Beginning in 1821, enslavement and mistreatment by Spanish soldiers and missionaries, Mexican land barons, European settlers, and gold diggers, combined with a lack of natural immunity to European diseases, which resulted in a massive wave of deaths. The result of this was massive amounts of land freed up for the white settlers who arrived during the gold rush.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.6 square miles (27 km2), of which, 10.1 square miles (26 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it is water. The total area is 4.27% water.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Clearlake CA
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Clearlake CA.
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