How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Frazier Park 93222
Earning a physical therapy degree near Frazier Park CA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Frazier Park CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Frazier Park CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Frazier Park CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more 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 close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Frazier Park CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Frazier Park CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 select an online program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Frazier Park CA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight 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 schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Frazier Park CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Frazier Park CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Frazier Park healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Frazier Park CA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Frazier Park CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Frazier Park California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Frazier Park CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Frazier Park, California
Frazier Park is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California. It is 5 miles (8 km) west of Lebec, at an elevation of 4,639 feet (1,414 m). It is one of the Mountain Communities of the Tejon Pass. The population was 2,691 in the 2010 census, up from 2,348 in 2000.
The earliest record relating to Frazier Park was a report in 1854 that lumber was being produced there from Frazier Mountain trees for use at the new Army post at nearby Fort Tejon. Local historian Bonnie Ketterl Kane wrote that the mill was "supposedly" at the southeast end of the present community. She cited another report that a Kitanemuk Indian referred to the site as Campo del Soldado (Soldier's Camp), "which was where the soldiers stayed when they cut timber from a mountain they called Pinery Mountain, today's Frazier Mountain."
The community itself was established in 1925 by Harry McBain, who named it in 1926 for Frazier Mountain, on its southern flank. Its post office was established on September 14, 1927, with Charles B. Fife as the first postmaster.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Frazier Park CA
Deciding on the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Frazier Park CA.
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