How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Delano 93215
Getting a physical therapy degree near Delano CA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Delano CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Delano CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Delano CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist 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 integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 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 before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Delano CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Delano CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Delano CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Delano CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Delano CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Delano medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Delano CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Delano CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Delano California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Delano CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Delano (/dəˈleɪnoʊ/ də-LAY-noh) is a city in Kern County, California, United States. Delano is located 31 miles (50 km) north-northwest of Bakersfield at an elevation of 315 feet (96 m). The population was 52,088 in 2016, up from 38,824 in 2000. It is Kern County's second largest city after Bakersfield.
Agriculture is Delano's major industry. The area is particularly well known as a center for the growing of table grapes. Delano is also home to two California state prisons, North Kern State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison. The Voice of America once operated its largest, most powerful shortwave broadcast facility outside Delano at 35°45′15″N 119°17′7″W / 35.75417°N 119.28528°W / 35.75417; -119.28528. However, the Voice of America ceased broadcasts in October 2007, citing a changing political mission, reduced budgets, and changes in technology.
Delano's two school districts currently operate eight elementary schools, three middle schools, three comprehensive high schools and two alternative high schools. The city has its own police department and contracts with the Kern County Fire Department for fire services, EMS services are privately provided by local company, Delano Ambulance Service.
Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Delano CA
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school 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 options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Delano CA.
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