How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Arcadia 91006
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Arcadia CA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just 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 considered 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Arcadia CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Arcadia CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep 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 stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Arcadia CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Arcadia CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, 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 Arcadia CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 choose an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist 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. Get in touch with a few Arcadia CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Arcadia CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Arcadia CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Arcadia health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Arcadia CA residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing 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 too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arcadia CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Arcadia California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Arcadia CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Arcadia is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States located about 13 miles (21 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles in the San Gabriel Valley and at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is the site of the Santa Anita Park racetrack and home to the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden. The city had a population of 56,364 at the 2010 census, up from 53,248 at the 2000 census. The city is named after Arcadia, Greece.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.1 square miles (29 km2). 10.9 square miles (28 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (1.87%) is water.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Arcadia had a population of 56,364. The population density was 5,062.5 people per square mile (1,954.6/km²). The racial makeup of Arcadia was 33,353 (59.2%) Asian, 18,191 (32.3%) White, (25.7% Non-Hispanic White), 681 (1.2%) African American, 186 (0.3%) Native American, 16 (0.03%) Pacific Islander, 2,352 (4.2%) from other races, and 1,585 (2.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6,799 persons (12.1%).
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Arcadia CA
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program 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 field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Arcadia CA.
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