How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Larkspur 94939
Earning a physical therapy degree near Larkspur CA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Larkspur 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Larkspur CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Larkspur CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs 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 necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Larkspur CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Larkspur CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Larkspur CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college 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 schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Larkspur CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have partnerships with Larkspur CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Larkspur medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Larkspur CA home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire 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 scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Larkspur CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Larkspur California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Larkspur CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Larkspur is a city in Marin County, California, United States. Larkspur is located 3 miles (4.8 km) south of San Rafael, at an elevation of 43 feet (13 m). As of the 2010 Census, the city's population was 11,926. Larkspur is located north of San Francisco near Mount Tamalpais. Larkspur's Police Department is shared with that of the neighboring Corte Madera and town of San Anselmo as the Central Marin Police Authority. Intersecting Larkspur's downtown is Madrone Canyon, a residential area amidst a redwood grove.
Charles W. Wright laid out the town in 1887. The first post office opened in 1891. Larkspur incorporated in 1908.Larkspur's Downtown Historic District, known also as Old Downtown Larkspur, is a historic district that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The restored Art Deco Lark Theater is part of this downtown district.
In the United States House of Representatives, Larkspur is in California's 2nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Jared Huffman. From 2008 to 2012, Huffman represented Marin County in the California State Assembly.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Larkspur CA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish 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 options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Larkspur CA.
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