How to Choose a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Danville 94506
Earning a physical therapist degree near Danville CA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate 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 important to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. 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 the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Danville CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. 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 patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Danville CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for 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 quite 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 Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Danville CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Danville CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, 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 colleges within the Danville CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent 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 essential that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting 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. Call a few Danville CA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Danville CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Danville CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Danville healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Danville CA home. Those who have decided 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Danville CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option 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 Danville California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Danville CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The Town of Danville is located in the San Ramon Valley in Contra Costa County, California. It is one of the incorporated municipalities in California that uses "town" in its name instead of "city". The population was 44,631 in 2016.
The Iron Horse Regional Trail runs through Danville. It was first a railroad that has been converted to an 80-foot (24 m) wide corridor of bike and hike trails as well as controlled intersections. Extending from Pleasanton to Concord, the trail passes through Danville.
For over 130 years, Danville's history has been one of change and growth. Often referred to as the "Heart of the San Ramon Valley," Danville was first populated by Native Americans who lived next to the creeks and camped on Mount Diablo in the summer. Later it was part of Mission San Jose's grazing land and a Mexican land grant called Rancho San Ramon.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Danville CA
Deciding on the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. 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 might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to 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 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 necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Danville CA.
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