How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Huntington Park 90255
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Huntington Park CA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Huntington Park CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Huntington Park CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Huntington Park CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer available 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 present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Huntington Park CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar 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 advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Huntington Park CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools 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 programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 school, it can 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 just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring 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 Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Huntington Park 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 insight about your school options. 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Huntington Park CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Huntington Park CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Huntington Park healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Huntington Park CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Huntington Park CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Huntington Park California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Huntington Park CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Huntington Park, California
Named for prominent industrialist Henry E. Huntington, Huntington Park was incorporated in 1906 as a streetcar suburb for workers in the rapidly expanding industries to the southeast of downtown Los Angeles. To this day, about 30% of its residents work at factories in nearby Vernon and Commerce. The stretch of Pacific Boulevard in downtown Huntington Park was a major commercial district serving the city's largely working-class residents, as well as those of neighboring cities such as Bell, Cudahy, South Gate, and Downey. As with most of the other cities along the corridor stretching along the Los Angeles River to the south and southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Huntington Park was an almost exclusively white community during most of its history; Alameda Street and Slauson Avenue, which were fiercely defended segregation lines in the 1950s, separated it from black areas.
The changes that shaped Los Angeles from the late 1970s onward—the decline of American manufacturing that began in the 1970s; the rapid growth of newer suburbs in Orange County, the eastern San Gabriel, western San Fernando and Conejo valleys; the collapse of the aerospace and defense industry at the end of the Cold War; and the implosion of the Southern California real estate boom in the early 1990s—resulted in the wholesale departure of virtually all of the white population of Huntington Park by the mid-1990s. The vacuum was filled almost entirely by two groups of Latinos: upwardly mobile families eager to leave the barrios of East Los Angeles, and recent Mexican immigrants. Today, Pacific Boulevard is once again a thriving commercial strip, serving as a major retail center for working-class residents of southeastern Los Angeles County—but unlike its previous heyday of the 1930s, the signs along the avenue's storefronts are now primarily in Spanish.
Cities surrounding Huntington Park include Bell, Cudahy, Los Angeles, Maywood, South Gate, and Vernon. In addition unincorporated areas, including Florence-Graham and Walnut Park, are adjacent to Huntington Park.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Huntington Park CA
Choosing the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Huntington Park CA.
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