How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Indian Wells 92210
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Indian Wells CA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply 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 besides 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 work in a variety of locations, such as Indian Wells CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Indian Wells CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting 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 therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Indian Wells CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Indian Wells CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, 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 Indian Wells CA area and across California, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning 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. Get in touch with several Indian Wells CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Indian Wells CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed 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 PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Indian Wells CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Indian Wells health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher 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 an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Indian Wells CA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might 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 to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see 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 therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Indian Wells CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Indian Wells California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Indian Wells CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Indian Wells, California
Indian Wells is a city in Riverside County, California, in the Coachella Valley. Incorporated in 1967, it lies in between Palm Desert and the resort town of La Quinta. As of July 1, 2017, the estimated city population was 5,404.
The city hosts the sixth-largest tennis tournament in the world, the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament—presently known as the BNP Paribas Open. The Indian Wells Masters is one of nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 high-level events operated by the Association of Tennis Professionals, and one of the four WTA Premier Mandatory tournaments of the Women's Tennis Association. It is held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, which contains the second-largest tennis-specific stadium in the world.
As early as 1853, the area now known as Indian Wells was the site of a thriving Indian village, as reported by W.P. Blade, a Smithsonian Institution geologist. A decade later, when gold was discovered on the Colorado River, William D. Bradshaw built a trail from Los Angeles through the desert to the gold mines. The Alexander and Company Stage Line used the trail to transport prospectors and Indian Wells became an important stop along the trail. Competition from the Southern Pacific Railroad caused the route to be abandoned briefly in 1875 before being reactivated by the Wells Fargo Company the following year.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Indian Wells CA
Choosing the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Indian Wells CA.
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