How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Death Valley 92328
Getting a physical therapist degree near Death Valley CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Death Valley CA hospitals, health clinics, 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Death Valley CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Death Valley CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. 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 training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
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 even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Death Valley CA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Death Valley CA area and across California, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy 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. Contact a few Death Valley CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent 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 Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Death Valley CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Death Valley CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Death Valley health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Death Valley CA residence. Those who have chosen 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 importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. 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 you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Death Valley CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Death Valley California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Death Valley CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is an American national park that straddles the California—Nevada border, east of the Sierra Nevada. The park occupies an interface zone between the arid Great Basin and Mojave deserts, protecting the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and its diverse environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, badlands, valleys, canyons, and mountains. Death Valley is the largest national park in the lower 48 states, and the hottest, driest and lowest of all the national parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. Approximately 91% of the park is a designated wilderness area. The park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep, coyote, and the Death Valley pupfish, a survivor from much wetter times. UNESCO included Death Valley as the principal feature of its Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve in 1984.
A series of Native American groups inhabited the area from as early as 7000 BC, most recently the Timbisha around 1000 AD who migrated between winter camps in the valleys and summer grounds in the mountains. A group of European-Americans, trapped in the valley in 1849 while looking for a shortcut to the gold fields of California, gave the valley its name, even though only one of their group died there. Several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams. The valley later became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies. Tourism expanded in the 1920s when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells and Furnace Creek. Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994.
The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology. The valley is actually a graben with the oldest rocks being extensively metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, warm, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean. Additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. The subduction uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes. Later the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, such as Lake Manly.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy School near Death Valley CA
Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to active 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 have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Death Valley CA.
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