Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Lakeport CA

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Lakeport 95453

Lakeport CA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Lakeport CA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important 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 address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Lakeport CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Lakeport 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Lakeport CA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Lakeport CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Lakeport CA area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required 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 generally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having 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 Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lakeport CAWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lakeport CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Lakeport CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Lakeport CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lakeport CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Lakeport CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Lakeport healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at 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 an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Lakeport CA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lakeport CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lakeport California?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lakeport CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Lakeport, California

Lakeport is an incorporated city and county seat of Lake County, California.[3] This city is one hundred and twenty-five miles northwest of Sacramento. Lakeport is on the west shore of Clear Lake,[6] at an elevation of 1355 feet (413 m).[3] The population was 4,753 at the 2010 census, down from 4,820 at the time of the 2000 census.

Lakeport was first settled by Native Americans several thousand years ago. At the coming of the settlers, the Kabe-napos, a subtribe of the Pomo people, lived here within their main village. The village name was Kaci-Badon, after the water lily plant Kaci and badon which was the native name for island.[7]

The first business in Lakeport was established in 1855. Goods were traded to the natives for their wares and baskets. The business was run by a man named Johnson, but he did not have a store location. The first shop built in the Lakeport area was constructed by Dr. Boynton.

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Lakeport CA

Picking the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Lakeport CA.

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