How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Dunsmuir 96025
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Dunsmuir CA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back 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 become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Dunsmuir CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Dunsmuir CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, 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
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is available to practice as 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. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Dunsmuir CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dunsmuir CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Dunsmuir CA area and across California, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Dunsmuir CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dunsmuir CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Dunsmuir CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Dunsmuir medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools 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 an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Dunsmuir CA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Dunsmuir CA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dunsmuir California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dunsmuir CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The official city slogan is "Home of the best water on Earth". Dunsmuir is currently a hub for tourism in Northern California, with Interstate 5 in California passing through it. Visitors enjoy fishing, skiing, climbing, or sight-seeing. During the steam locomotive railroad era, it was notable for being the site of an important Central Pacific (and later Southern Pacific) railroad yard, where extra steam locomotives were added to assist trains on the grade to the north.
Located in the Shasta Cascade area of Northern California, Dunsmuir is a popular destination for tourists. Visitors come to fish trout in the Sacramento and McCloud Rivers, or to see and climb Mount Shasta, Castle Crags or the Trinity Alps. Visitors ski (both alpine and cross-country) and bicycle, or can hike to the waterfalls, streams and lakes in the area, including nearby Mossbrae Falls, Hedge Creek Falls, Lake Siskiyou, Castle Lake and Shasta Lake.
Dunsmuir is located on the Upper Sacramento River, a blue ribbon trout stream that attracts fishermen from all over the world. Wild rainbow trout abound in the river. Additionally, the City has a private stocking permit from the Department of Fish and Game. The City currently has a "Big Fish Program" and stocks the river within the city limits with trophy-sized rainbow trout up to 14 pounds (6.4 kg). These stockings take place during the summer months. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted in the river during the off-season, so fly-fishing is available year-round.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy College near Dunsmuir CA
Choosing the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to see 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 following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Dunsmuir CA.
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