How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Forest Knolls 94933
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Forest Knolls CA is an important first step to starting a rewarding 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 may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Forest Knolls CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Forest Knolls CA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Forest Knolls CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Forest Knolls CA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Forest Knolls CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Forest Knolls CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of 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 Forest Knolls CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Forest Knolls CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Forest Knolls medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Forest Knolls CA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Forest Knolls CA area, make sure 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Forest Knolls California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Forest Knolls CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Lagunitas-Forest Knolls, California
Lagunitas-Forest Knolls is a census-designated place, composed of two unincorporated areas in the western half of the San Geronimo Valley in Marin County, California, United States. The population was 1,819 at the 2010 census.
The two towns are locally seen as separate, geographically divided by narrow points in the San Geronimo Valley, and each with its own small commercial center. Both are primarily residential. Lagunitas' ZIP code is 94938, while that of Forest Knolls is 94933.
The Lagunitas Creek Watershed is home to the largest-remaining wild run of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in Central California. These coho are part of the "Central California Coast Evolutionarily Significant Unit," or CCC ESU, and are listed as "endangered" at both the state and federal level.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Forest Knolls CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Forest Knolls CA.
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