How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near Hacienda Heights 91745
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Hacienda Heights CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Hacienda Heights CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Hacienda Heights CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, 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 prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Hacienda Heights CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Hacienda Heights CA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Hacienda Heights CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned 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 select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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. Contact a few Hacienda Heights CA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Hacienda Heights CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Hacienda Heights CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Hacienda Heights medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Hacienda Heights CA home. Students who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, 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 ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Hacienda Heights CA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Hacienda Heights California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hacienda Heights CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hacienda Heights, California
Hacienda Heights is an unincorporated suburban community and census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the community had a total population of 54,038, up from 53,122 at the 2000 census. Hacienda Heights is the second largest census designated place in Los Angeles County by area and the county's second largest CDP by population.
During Spanish rule, Hacienda Heights was a part of Rancho La Puente, which was operated by the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcángel in San Gabriel. The Rancho was eventually acquired by John A. Rowland and William Workman in 1845 via a Mexican land grant, and eventually acquired by Elias "Lucky" Baldwin. In 1912, his descendant, Anita Baldwin, sold the property to Edwin Hart and Jet Torrance. The pair subdivided the area and named it North Whittier Heights, which became known for avocado, citrus and walnut orchards, in 1913. However, from the Great Depression era to the early 1940s, citrus growing became unprofitable because of pests and diseases, setting the impetus for the area's transformation into a suburb.
Originally an agricultural town, beginning in the 1940s and accelerating in the 1950s, suburban residential development, which occurred southward (beginning on subdivisions near Kwis Avenue), transformed Hacienda Heights into a residential or bedroom community. In 1961, the Hacienda Heights Branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library opened. The following year, in 1961, the area was renamed Hacienda Heights. In 1964, the local newspaper, the Hacienda Heights Highlander, was established.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Hacienda Heights CA
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hacienda Heights CA.
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