How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Clearlake Oaks 95423
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Clearlake Oaks CA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Clearlake Oaks CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems 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 abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Clearlake Oaks CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Clearlake Oaks CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clearlake Oaks CA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, 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 Clearlake Oaks CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for 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 also. Contact some Clearlake Oaks CA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of 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 Clearlake Oaks CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies 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 college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have associations with Clearlake Oaks CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Clearlake Oaks healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Clearlake Oaks CA home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clearlake Oaks CA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clearlake Oaks California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clearlake Oaks CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Clearlake Oaks, California
Clearlake Oaks is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lake County, California, United States. It is located on the extreme southeast of Clear Lake, 13 miles (20.8 km) east-southeast of Lakeport, at an elevation of 1,335 feet (407 m). The population was 2,359 at the 2010 census, down from 2,402 at the 2000 census.
The site of the original town, inland of State Route 20, was subdivided by the 1920s. Situated in a broad canyon mouth, the original town site is about 4 blocks long and 3 deep, triangular in shape, with a plaza site in its center. Today the plaza is paved and used for parking by the church located along the west side. Most of the homes in the village remain true to their "fishing cottage" roots.
The Stubbs post office opened in 1926, and changed its name to Clearlake Oaks in 1935. The name Stubbs honored Charles Stubbs, a local landowner. The relocation of the post office, the aging population, and the coming of Wal-Mart have combined to kill the "downtown". Fifteen years ago, there were two markets, a chain hardware store, two gas stations, video store, salon, and several restaurants and bars. A privately operated marina had fish and ski boats for rent. But by the late nineties, Clearlake Oaks was down to one market, one convenience store, and a struggling antique store.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near Clearlake Oaks CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Clearlake Oaks CA.
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