How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Alhambra 91801
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Alhambra CA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Alhambra CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Alhambra CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Alhambra CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Alhambra CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Alhambra CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously stated, 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing 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 exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Alhambra CA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. 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 submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Alhambra CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Alhambra CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Alhambra medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Alhambra CA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they 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 you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Alhambra CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Alhambra California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Alhambra CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Alhambra (/ælˈhæmbrə/ ( listen) or /ɑːlˈhɑːmbrə/ ( listen)) is a city located in the western San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, United States, approximately eight miles from the Downtown Los Angeles civic center. It was incorporated on July 11, 1903. As of the 2010 census, the population was 83,089. The city's ZIP codes are 91801 and 91803 (plus 91802 for P.O. boxes).
The San Gabriel Mission was founded nearby on September 8, 1771 as part of the Spanish conquest and occupation of Alta California. The land that would later become Alhambra was part of a 300,000 acre land grant given to Manuel Nieto, a soldier from the Los Angeles Presidio. In 1820 Mexico won its independence from the Spanish crown and lands once ruled by them became part of the Mexican Republic. These lands then transferred into the hands of the United States following the defeat in the Mexican–American War. A wealthy developer, Benjamin Davis Wilson, married Ramona Yorba, daughter of Bernardo Yorba, who owned the land which would become Alhambra. With the persuasion of his daughter, Ruth, Yorba named the land after a book she was reading, Washington Irving's Tales of the Alhambra, which he was inspired to write by his extended visit to the Alhambra palace in Granada, Spain. Alhambra was founded as a suburb of Los Angeles that remained an unincorporated area during the mid-19th century. The first school in Alhambra was Ramona Convent Secondary School, built on hillside property donated by the prominent James de Barth Shorb family. Thirteen years before the city was incorporated, several prominent San Gabriel Valley families interested in the Catholic education of their daughters established the school in 1890. The city's first public high school, Alhambra High School, was established in 1898, five years before the city's incorporation. On July 11, 1903, the City of Alhambra was incorporated. The Alhambra Fire Department was established in 1906.
Alhambra was originally promoted as a "city of homes", and many of its homes have historical significance. They include styles such as craftsman, bungalow, Spanish Mediterranean, Spanish colonial, Italian beaux-arts, and arts and crafts. Twenty-six single-family residential areas have been designated historic neighborhoods by the city, including the Bean Tract (formerly owned by early resident Jacob Bean), the Midwick Tract (site of the former Midwick Country Club), the Airport Tract (formerly the landing pad for Alhambra Airport), and the Emery Park area. There are also a large number of condominiums, rental apartments, and mixed-use residential/commercial buildings, especially in the downtown area.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Alhambra CA
Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options 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 Alhambra CA.
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