How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist School near La Puente 91744
Receiving a physical therapist degree near La Puente CA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 practice in varying locations, including La Puente CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other La Puente CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the La Puente CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s La Puente CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the La Puente CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some La Puente CA physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the La Puente CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) 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 performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with La Puente CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the La Puente health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their La Puente CA home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern 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 even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the La Puente CA area, make sure 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 have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near La Puente California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the La Puente CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
La Puente, California
The original inhabitants of the area now occupied by the city of La Puente were the Kizh. They lived in a village called Awingna, which linguists translate as "abiding place." The Awingna chief Matheo (who also held sway over several other nearby villages) was baptized at Mission San Gabriel in 1774.
In 1769, the Spanish Portolá expedition became the first Europeans to see inland portions of Alta California. On July 30, the party camped on the east side of the San Gabriel River, in today's unincorporated area of Bassett. Father Juan Crespi wrote in his diary that, the next day, they had to build a bridge (Spanish "puente") to cross the miry San Gabriel River.
With the establishment of Mission San Gabriel, the area encompassing Awingna and what is now the city of La Puente became part of Rancho La Puente, established as a mission outpost and ranch. The rancho was visited by the Jedediah Smith party in November 1826, the first Americans to travel overland to California.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near La Puente CA
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in La Puente CA.
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