How to Choose a Physical Therapy Program near Compton 90220
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Compton CA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Compton CA private practices, hospitals, 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 patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Compton CA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Compton CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly 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 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Compton CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated 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 would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Compton CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Compton CA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Compton CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have relationships with Compton CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Compton medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Compton CA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist 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 must schedule night or weekend classes in the Compton 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Compton California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Compton CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Compton is a city in southern Los Angeles County, California, United States, situated south of downtown Los Angeles. Compton is one of the oldest cities in the county and on May 11, 1888, was the eighth city to incorporate. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 96,455. It is known as the "Hub City" due to its geographic centrality in Los Angeles County. Neighborhoods in Compton include Sunny Cove, Leland, Downtown Compton, and Richland Farms. The city is generally a working class city with some middle-class neighborhoods, and is home to a relatively young population, at an average 25 years of age, compared to the American median age of 35 (2010 data).
In 1784, the Spanish Crown deeded a tract of over 75,000 acres (300 km2) to Juan Jose Dominguez in this area. The tract was named Rancho San Pedro. Dominguez's name was later applied to the Dominguez Hills area south of Compton. The tree that marked the original northern boundary of the rancho still stands at the corner of Poppy and Short streets. The rancho was subdivided and parcels were sold within the Californios of Alta California until the lands were ceded after the Mexican-American war in 1848. American immigrants acquired most of the rancho lands after 1848.[clarification needed]
In 1867, Griffith Dickenson Compton led a group of 30 pioneers to the area. These families had traveled by wagon train south from Stockton, California, in search of ways to earn a living other than the rapid exhaustion of gold fields. Originally named Gibsonville, after one of the tract owners, it was later called Comptonville. However, to avoid confusion with the Comptonville located in Yuba County, the name was shortened to Compton. Compton's earliest settlers were faced with terrible hardships as they farmed the land in bleak weather to get by with just the barest subsistence. The weather continued to be harsh, rainy and cold, and fuel was difficult to find. To gather firewood it was necessary to travel to mountains close to Pasadena. The round trip took almost a week. Many in the Compton party wanted to relocate to a friendlier climate and settle down, but as there were two general stores within traveling distance—one in the pueblo of Los Angeles, the other in Wilmington—they eventually decided to stay put.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Compton CA
Selecting the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Compton CA.
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