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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Livermore 94550

Livermore CA physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Livermore CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover 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?

Livermore CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Livermore CA hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Livermore CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor 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 attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding 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 Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Livermore CAAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Livermore CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring 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.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Livermore CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select 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 enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Livermore CA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Livermore CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In every 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 fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Livermore CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Livermore medical community and assist 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 the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Livermore CA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Livermore CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Livermore California?

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

Livermore, California

Livermore (formerly Livermores, Livermore Ranch, and Nottingham)[10] is a city in Alameda County, California, in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 89,648,[8] Livermore is the most populous city in the Tri-Valley. Livermore is located on the eastern edge of California's San Francisco Bay Area. The incumbent Mayor of Livermore is John Marchand.

Livermore was founded by William Mendenhall and named for Robert Livermore, his friend and a local rancher who settled in the area in the 1840s. Livermore is the home of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, for which the chemical element livermorium is named (and thus, placing the city's name in the periodic table).[11] Livermore is also the California site of Sandia National Laboratories, which is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its south side is home to local vineyards. The city has redeveloped its downtown district and is considered part of the Tri-Valley area, comprising Amador, Livermore and San Ramon valleys.

Before its incorporation in 1796 under the Franciscan Mission San Jose, located in what is now the southern part of Fremont, the Livermore area was home to some of the Ohlone (or Costanoan) native people. Each mission had two to three friars and a contingent of up to five soldiers to help keep order in the mission and to help control the natives. Like most indigenous people in California, the natives in the vicinity of Mission San Jose were mostly coerced into joining it, where they were taught Spanish, the Catholic religion, singing, construction, agricultural trades and herding—the Native Californian people originally had no agriculture and no domestic animals except dogs. Other tribes were coerced into other adjacent missions. The Mission Indians were restricted to the mission grounds where they lived in sexually segregated "barracks" that they built themselves with padre instruction. The population of all California missions plunged steeply as new diseases ravaged the Mission Indian populations—they had almost no immunity to these "new to them" diseases, and death rates over 50% were not uncommon.[13]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Livermore CA

Deciding on the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Livermore CA.

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