How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near Half Moon Bay 94019
Earning a physical therapy degree near Half Moon Bay CA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Half Moon Bay CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Half Moon Bay CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one 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 readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are available in the Half Moon Bay CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and usually include 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 must also 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 overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Half Moon Bay CA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Half Moon Bay CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Half Moon Bay CA physical therapist 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 program selections. It may 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction 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 Half Moon Bay CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Half Moon Bay CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Half Moon Bay medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Half Moon Bay CA home. Students who have decided 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Half Moon Bay CA area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Half Moon Bay California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Half Moon Bay CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 11,324 as of the 2010 census. Immediately at the north of Half Moon Bay is the Pillar Point Harbor and the unincorporated community of Princeton-by-the-Sea. The urban area had a population of 20,713 at the same census.
Half Moon Bay began as a rural agriculture area, primarily used for grazing of cattle, horses, and oxen used by Mission San Francisco de Asis (established in June 1776). Following the secularization of the Mission, Tiburcio Vásquez received the Rancho Corral de Tierra Mexican land grant in 1839 and Candelario Miramontes was granted Rancho Miramontes (later known as Rancho San Benito) in 1841.
The community began to develop in the 1840s as the first real town in San Mateo County. Known originally as San Benito, the town was renamed Spanishtown and attracted a thriving fishing industry in addition to its continued importance to coastal agriculture. Spanishtown became a racially diverse community, settled by Canadians, Chinese, English, Germans, Irish, Mexicans, Italians, Scots, Portuguese, and Pacific Islanders. Regular stagecoach service was established with San Mateo; coaches also served the communities of Purissima, Lobitos, and San Gregorio. Levy Brothers opened a department store in downtown Half Moon Bay. Spanishtown was officially renamed Half Moon Bay in 1874.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Half Moon Bay CA
Choosing the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Half Moon Bay CA.
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