How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Arvin 93203
Earning a physical therapist degree near Arvin CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Arvin 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 touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Arvin CA health 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. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Arvin 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually 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 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 complete, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Arvin CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Arvin CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist 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 ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Arvin CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with 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 couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, 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 Arvin CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. 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 college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Arvin CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Arvin health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few 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 therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Arvin CA home. Those 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Arvin CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Arvin California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Arvin CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Arvin is a city in Kern County, California. Arvin is located 15 miles (24 km) southeast of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 449 feet (137 m). As of the 2010 census, the population was 19,304, up from 12,956 at the 2000 census.
In 2007, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed Arvin as having the highest levels of smog of any community in the United States. The city's level of ozone, smog's primary component, exceeded the EPA's acceptable limits an average of 73 days per year between 2004 and 2006.
Property sales of lots in present-day Arvin began in 1906. The Arvin Post Office was established in 1914 and the community incorporated as a city in 1960. The city was named after Arvin Richardson, who was the son of one of the original settling families from San Bernardino. Birdie Heard petitioned for the addition of the post office in 1914 and submitted proposed names including Bear Mountain, Walnut, and Arvin. Officials in Washington D.C. chose Arvin as it was the only proposed name which was not already in use in California. Birdie was the city's first postmaster. She set up the post office in her living room originally, but it was later moved to the general store owned by the Staples family. The in-store post office was also the area's first informal library until an official branch of the Kern County Library system was established in 1927.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Arvin CA
Selecting the best physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Arvin CA.
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