How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near Garden Grove 92840
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Garden Grove CA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Garden Grove CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Garden Grove CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Garden Grove CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Garden Grove CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning 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 numerous PT colleges within the Garden Grove CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also earn 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 simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Garden Grove CA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Garden Grove CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Garden Grove CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Garden Grove medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. 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 some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Garden Grove CA home. Individuals who have chosen 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. One thing 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Garden Grove CA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Garden Grove California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Garden Grove CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Garden Grove, California
Garden Grove is a city in northern Orange County, California, United States, located 34 miles (55 km) southeast of the city of Los Angeles in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The population was 170,883 at the 2010 United States Census. State Route 22, also known as the Garden Grove Freeway, passes through the city in an east-west direction. The western portion of the city is known as West Garden Grove.
Garden Grove was founded by Alonzo Cook in 1874. A school district and Methodist church were organized that year. It remained a small rural crossroads until the arrival of the railroad in 1905. The rail connection helped the town prosper with crops of orange, walnuts, chili peppers and later strawberries.
In 1933, much of the town's central business district was destroyed by the Long Beach earthquake, and one person was killed at the high school. The post-World War II boom led to rapid development, and Garden Grove was incorporated as a city in 1956 with about 44,000 residents.
Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Garden Grove CA
Picking the right physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Garden Grove CA.
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