How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Corte Madera 94925
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Corte Madera CA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest 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 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 varying locations, including Corte Madera CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Corte Madera CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Corte Madera CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of 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 in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Corte Madera CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Corte Madera CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned 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 enroll in an online school, it can also receive 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 just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Corte Madera CA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Corte Madera CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Corte Madera CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive 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 may help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Corte Madera healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Corte Madera CA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly 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 Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Corte Madera CA area, make certain that they are offered. 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Corte Madera California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Corte Madera CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Corte Madera, California
Corte Madera (/ˈkɔːrtə məˈdɛrə/; formerly Adams) is an incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States. Corte Madera is located 3.25 miles (5.2 km) south of San Rafael, at an elevation of 39 feet (12 m). The population was 9,253 at the 2010 census.
In Spanish, Corte Madera means the imperative command "Chop wood", as in "Chop the wood". The area was famous for producing redwood tree lumber which was used in the construction of the city of San Francisco.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11 km2), of which, 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) of it is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) of it (28.19%) is water. Corte Madera is one of the richest towns in Marin.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Corte Madera CA
Selecting the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Corte Madera CA.
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