How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Dixon 95620
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Dixon CA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover 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, such as Dixon CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Dixon CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Dixon CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dixon CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses 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 alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, 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 Dixon CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering 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 essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact some Dixon CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dixon CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Dixon CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Dixon medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Dixon CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dixon CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dixon California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dixon CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dixon is a city in northern Solano County, California, United States, located 23 miles (37 km) from the state capital, Sacramento. The population was 18,351 at the 2010 census. Other nearby cities include Vacaville, Winters and Davis.
The first semi-permanent European settlement to develop in the (now) Dixon area emerged during the California Gold Rush of the mid-19th century. During this time, the community of Silveyville was founded as a halfway point between the Pacific coast and the rich gold fields of Sacramento—along a route commonly traveled by miners. In 1868, Central Pacific railroad came through the area and missed Silveyville by a few miles. As a result, local leaders decided to physically relocate Silveyville closer to the tracks in order to enjoy the benefits of commerce and travel. One of the first buildings that still stands in Dixon from the 1871 move is the Dixon Methodist Church located at 209 N. Jefferson Street.
Originally, the city was named "Dicksonville" after Thomas Dickson who donated 10 acres of his land for the construction of a railroad depot following the completion of the tracks and subsequent relocation of Silveyville to the now-Dixon area. However, when the first rail shipment of merchandise arrived from San Francisco in 1872, it was mistakenly addressed to "Dixon"—a name that has been used since, mainly out of simplicity. Up to now, the urban landscape of the town can be seen to have developed mostly in between the railroad tracks and Interstate-80.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Dixon CA
Selecting the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dixon CA.
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