How to Select a Physical Therapy College near Aptos 95001
Getting a physical therapy degree near Aptos CA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold 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 make sure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Aptos CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Aptos CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable 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 offered in the Aptos CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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 a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Aptos CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Aptos CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Aptos CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Aptos CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Aptos CA clinics or hospitals 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 secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Aptos healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Aptos CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Aptos CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Aptos California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Aptos CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined Aptos as a census-designated place (CDP). The census definition of the area is limited in contrast to the local understanding of the area with the same name. The population of the CDP was 6,220 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 6.4 square miles (17 km2), all land. The southwestern geographical boundary is Monterey Bay, while the northeast boundary is the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The name Aptos is Ohlone, meaning "the people". Aptos was traditionally inhabited by the Ohlone Awaswas people. The name is one of only three native words that have survived (in Hispanicized form) as place names in Santa Cruz County (the others are Soquel and Zayante).
Pick the Right Physical Therapist School near Aptos CA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with active 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 supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Aptos CA.
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