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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Lincoln 95648

Lincoln CA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Lincoln CA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with 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 what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Lincoln CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Lincoln CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. 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 individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Lincoln CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Lincoln CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Lincoln 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 obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually include 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 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 complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lincoln CAWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to 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 nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Lincoln CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may 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 advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Lincoln CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received 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 select an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 as well. Contact some Lincoln CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It may 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 two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out 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 help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lincoln CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Lincoln CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Lincoln health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Lincoln CA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Lincoln CA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lincoln California?

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

Lincoln, California

Lincoln is a city in Placer County, California, United States, part of the Sacramento metropolitan area. Located in an area of rapid suburban development, it grew 282.1 percent between 2000 and 2010, making it the fastest growing city over 10,000 people in the U.S.[9] Its 2015 population was estimated to be 45,837.[7]

The original townsite was surveyed and laid out in 1859 by Theodore Judah along the proposed line of the California Central Railroad. The name "Lincoln" was conferred in honor of Charles Lincoln Wilson, one of the organizers and directors of the California Central Railroad. The CCRR was planned as a rail link between the cities of Marysville and Sacramento via a connection to the Sacramento Valley Railroad in Folsom. Grading from Folsom to Marysville commenced in 1858 and was completed to Marysville by 1860. Track laying began that same year and the rails reached the site of Lincoln in early 1861. At this point, due to a lack of funds, further construction on the California Central was temporarily halted and Lincoln experienced a small-scale boom as the northern terminus of this new road. Within a few years, however, more investors were found and the line was extended to Wheatland, in Yuba County, bringing an end to this early stage of Lincoln's development.

When most of its population and business moved on with the railroad, the town settled into a lull until the early 1870s, when rich clay deposits of the Ione Formation were discovered nearby. This led to the establishment of Gladding, McBean & Co., the pottery for which Lincoln is famous, ushering in a new era of prosperity and growth.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Lincoln CA

Picking the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Lincoln CA.

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