How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near El Dorado Hills 95762
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near El Dorado Hills CA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as El Dorado Hills CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other El Dorado Hills CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the El Dorado Hills CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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. Clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so 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 near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s El Dorado Hills CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the El Dorado Hills CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring 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 College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few El Dorado Hills CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the El Dorado Hills CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. 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 school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with El Dorado Hills CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the El Dorado Hills medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their El Dorado Hills CA home. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the El Dorado Hills CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near El Dorado Hills California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the El Dorado Hills CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
El Dorado Hills, California
El Dorado Hills (EDH) is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) in El Dorado County, California, 22 miles (35 km) east of the state capital of Sacramento. The population was 42,108 at the 2010 census, up from 18,016 at the 2000 census. This growth is a combination of population increase within the 2000 CDP boundaries and expansion of the boundaries. The area of EDH was expanded from 17.9 square miles (46 km2) in 2000 to 48.606 square miles (125.89 km2) in 2010.
El Dorado Hills residents and businesses are most closely affiliated with El Dorado County, a generally rural area. El Dorado County is part of the Sacramento Metropolitan Area because it is socially and economically integrated with the much larger Sacramento County and especially the city of Folsom. El Dorado Hills is recognized nationally for its high median household income, ranking 77th in CNN Money Magazine's best places to live in 2007, with the median household income for 2007 over $115,000.
El Dorado Hills lies about 18.6 miles from the 1848 gold find site in Coloma, the impetus for the California Gold Rush. Gold was washed down the South Fork of the American River, into areas now in El Dorado Hills and Folsom, but farming and ranching supplanted the Gold Rush. Portions of two Pony Express routes in this area from 1860-1861 remain as modern El Dorado Hills roads. El Dorado Hills includes the longest surviving section of the Lincoln Highway, the first U.S. transcontinental highway. This section, part of the Pioneer Branch, passes through historic Clarksville and is the predecessor of the modern US 50 route.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near El Dorado Hills CA
Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able 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 licensed physical therapist in El Dorado Hills CA.
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