How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Dos Palos 93620
Getting a physical therapist degree near Dos Palos CA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Dos Palos CA private practices, hospitals, 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 previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Dos Palos CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Dos Palos 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 earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to advance 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. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dos Palos CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number 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.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Dos Palos CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Dos Palos CA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent 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 significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dos Palos CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist 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 completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have partnerships with Dos Palos CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Dos Palos medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit 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 classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Dos Palos CA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer 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 last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dos Palos CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dos Palos California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dos Palos CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dos Palos, California
Dos Palos (formerly, Colony Center) is a city in Merced County, California, United States. Dos Palos is located 23 miles (37 km) south-southwest of Merced, at an elevation of 118 feet (36 m). The population was 4,950 at the 2010 census, up from 4,581 at the 2000 census.
In one of his expeditions (1820's) along the westside of the San Joaquin Valley, explorer Gabriel Moraga reported the location of two large isolated poplar trees, which he called "Dos Palos." In 19th Century Spanish usage, "palos" was used to describe tall pole-like trees or "timbers". 21st century usage often translates it as "sticks." The "Rancho Sanjon de Santa Rita" Mexican Land Grant cites "Los Dos Palos" or "The Two Trees" as a boundary marker. In 1891, former school superintendent Bernhard Marks convinced cattle ranch king Henry Miller to develop a small town nearby. They gave it the name "Dos Palos Colony" but pronounced it with their Alsatian German accent as "Dahce Palace." This pronunciation remained for over one hundred years until a recent Spanish pronunciation revival. Marks brought forty pioneer families west from Iowa and Nebraska to establish the community. In 1892, unable to find good water, many of the settlers left. Marks convinced Miller to establish another town two miles away on land unsuitable for farming and ranching due to swamps and unsettling soils. Some of the settlers relocated. This new town was named Colony Center, California. In 1906, Dos Palos Colony was renamed South Dos Palos and Colony Center was renamed Dos Palos. The Post Office was briefly misspelled as one word, "Dospalos" but this was changed within a year. About a dozen of the colony's original families still reside locally. Through the years, people from many other locations joined the community. Dos Palos incorporated in 1935.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Dos Palos had a population of 4,950. The population density was 3,667.3 people per square mile (1,416.0/km²). The racial makeup of Dos Palos was 3,377 (68.2%) White, 167 (3.4%) African American, 62 (1.3%) Native American, 37 (0.7%) Asian, 4 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,075 (21.7%) from other races, and 228 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,075 persons (62.1%).
Choose the Right Physical Therapy School near Dos Palos CA
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following 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 education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Dos Palos CA.
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