How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Lebec 93243
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Lebec CA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest 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 what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Lebec CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Lebec CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Lebec CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become 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 be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed 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 instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lebec CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Lebec CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs 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 colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Lebec CA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean 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 support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lebec CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Lebec CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Lebec healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Lebec CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lebec CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lebec California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lebec CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Lebec is named in honor of Peter Lebeck or Lebecque, a French trapper killed by a grizzly bear in 1837 in the area that later became Fort Tejon. He was memorialized in an epitaph at the site, found carved in a bare spot on an old oak tree. The epitaph read PETER LEBECK / KILLED BY A X BEAR / OCTR 17 / 1837. The bark of the oak tree eventually grew over the carving. A group from Bakersfield, called the Foxtail Rangers, removed the bark in the late 19th century and found the inscription in reverse on its underside. The piece is now displayed in the museum at Fort Tejon State Historic Park.
Lieutenant R.S. Williamson camped at the same oak grove in 1853 while on a mid-1850s mapping mission for a practicable railway route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Geologist William P. Blake accompanied Williamson's party. The area was garrisoned by the United States Army a year later, on August 10, 1854, as Fort Tejon, the first military fort in the California interior. The fort suffered extensive damage during the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake.
The Lebec Hotel was a large Spanish Colonial Revival-style hotel located on the Ridge Route in the community. It was built in 1921, and was popular with Hollywood executives and movie stars before World War II. It closed in 1968, and was demolished in 1971.
Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Lebec CA
Deciding on the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach 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 choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Lebec CA.
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