How to Pick a Physical Therapist College near Grass Valley 95945
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Grass Valley CA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire 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 prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Grass Valley CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Grass Valley CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Grass Valley CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as common as the on campus options, 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 combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Grass Valley CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly 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 can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Grass Valley CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Grass Valley CA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It might also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Grass Valley CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes 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 therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Grass Valley CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Grass Valley medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Grass Valley CA home. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Grass Valley CA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Grass Valley California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Grass Valley CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Grass Valley, California
The city of Grass Valley is the largest city in the western region of Nevada County, California, United States. Situated at roughly 2,500 feet (760 m) elevation in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this historic northern Gold Country city is 57 miles (92 km) by car from the state capitol in Sacramento, 64 miles (103 km) from Sacramento International Airport, 88 miles (142 km) west of Reno, and 143 miles (230 km) northeast of San Francisco. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 12,860.
Grass Valley, which was originally known as Boston Ravine and later officially named Centerville, dates from the California Gold Rush, as does nearby Nevada City. When a post office was established in 1851, it was renamed Grass Valley the following year for unknown reasons. The town incorporated in 1860.
Grass Valley is the location of the Empire Mine and North Star Mine, two of the richest mines in California. George Starr, manager of the Empire Mine, and William Bowers Bourn II, the mine owner, donated mine property which became Memorial Park.:42
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Grass Valley CA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Grass Valley CA.
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