How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Auburn 95602
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Auburn CA is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. 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 mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Auburn CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Auburn CA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Auburn CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Auburn CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Auburn CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting 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. Contact several Auburn CA physical therapy 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 options. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Auburn CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports 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 therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Auburn CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Auburn healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big 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 undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges 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 ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Auburn CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Auburn CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Auburn California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Auburn CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Auburn is a city in and the county seat of Placer County, California. Its population was 13,330 during the 2010 census. Auburn is known for its California Gold Rush history, and is registered as a California Historical Landmark.
Auburn is part of Greater Sacramento and is home to the Auburn State Recreation Area. The park is the site of more sporting endurance events than any other place in the world, giving Auburn the undisputed and internationally acclaimed title of Endurance Capital of the World. Examples include the Western States Endurance Run; the Western States Trail Ride, also known as Tevis Cup Equestrian Ride; American River 50 Mile Endurance Run; American River 50 Mile Equestrian Ride; Way Too Cool 50 Kilometer Endurance Run; Auburn International Half-Ironman Triathlon; Auburn Century 100 Mile Bike Ride, Coolest 24 Hour Mountain Bike Race, Rio Del Lago 100 Mile Endurance Run, Sierra Nevada 50 Mile Endurance Run, and the Coolest Run: Ride & Tie.
Archaeological finds place the southwestern border for the prehistoric Martis people in the Auburn area. The indigenous Nisenan, an offshoot of the Maidu, were the first to establish a permanent settlement in the Auburn area.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Auburn CA
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view 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 practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Auburn CA.
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