Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – El Monte CA

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Degree Program near El Monte 91731

El Monte CA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near El Monte CA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

El Monte CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including El Monte CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other El Monte CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

El Monte CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students 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 emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the El Monte CA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in El Monte CAAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s El Monte CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the El Monte CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several El Monte CA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once 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 El Monte CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with El Monte CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the El Monte medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk 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 therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their El Monte CA home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the El Monte CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out 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 El Monte California?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the El Monte CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

El Monte, California

El Monte /ɛl ˈmɒntiː/ is a residential, industrial, and commercial city in Los Angeles County, California, the United States. The city lies in the San Gabriel Valley east of the city of Los Angeles.

El Monte's slogan is "Welcome to Friendly El Monte" and historically is known as "The End of the Santa Fe Trail." As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 113,475, down from 115,965 at the 2000 census. As of 2010, El Monte was the 51st largest city in California.[8]

El Monte is situated between the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo Rivers; residents claimed that anything could be grown in the area. Between 1770 and 1830, Spanish soldiers and missionaries often stopped here for respite. They called the area 'El Monte,' which in Spanish means 'the mountain' or 'the mount'.[9] Most people assume the name refers to a mountain, but there were no mountains in the valley. The word is an archaic Spanish translation of that era, meaning "the wood". The first explorers had found this a rich, low-altitude land, blanketed with thick growths of wispy willows, alders, and cattails, located between the two rivers. Wild grapevines and watercress also abounded. El Monte is approximately 7 miles long and 4 miles wide.[10] When the State Legislature organized California into more manageable designated townships in the 1850s, they called it the El Monte Township. In a short time the name returned to the original El Monte.[11]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near El Monte CA

Selecting the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in El Monte CA.

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