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

How to Choose a Physical Therapy School near Alturas 96101

Alturas CA physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Alturas CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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’s Job Description?

Alturas CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Alturas 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 previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Alturas CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Alturas CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to become 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 summaries of degrees that are available in the Alturas CA area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Alturas CAAlthough not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Alturas CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Alturas CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Alturas CA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Alturas CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both exceptional 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 therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Alturas CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Alturas healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Alturas CA residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 choose to enroll in a program 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Alturas CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Alturas California?

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

Alturas, California

Alturas is located on the Pit River, east of the center of Modoc County,[7] at an elevation of 4370 feet (1332 m).[4] As the county seat, the town is a home to regional government offices, including a California Highway Patrol office and a state Department of Motor Vehicles office.

Alturas now occupies what was initially an Achumawi (Pit River) village known as Kosealekte[8] or Kasalektawi.[9] The city was initially known as Dorris Bridge (or Dorris' Bridge), named after Pressley and James Dorris, who built a bridge across the Pit River at this location.[7]

The Dorris Bridge post office opened in 1871,[7] renamed Dorrisville in 1874,[10] and in 1876, was renamed Alturas, which is Spanish for "heights".[11] The census of 1880 showed a population of 148. However, settlement continued over the next two decades, until the city was officially incorporated on September 16, 1901; the county's only incorporated city. Because of its central location, Dorrisville became the county seat when Modoc County formed in 1874, even though both Adin and Cedarville were then larger towns.[10]

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Alturas CA

Selecting the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Alturas CA.

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    • Physical Therapy | California State University, Long Beach

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