How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Baker 92309
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Baker CA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Baker CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Baker CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Baker CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 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 created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of 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 even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Baker CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Baker CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Baker CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be a good idea 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 couple of useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Baker CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Baker CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Baker health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Baker CA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Baker CA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Baker California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Baker CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Baker is a census-designated place located in San Bernardino County, California, US. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 735. Baker's ZIP Code is 92309 and the community is within area codes 442 and 760.
Baker was founded as a station on the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad in 1908, and was named for Richard C. Baker, business partner of Francis Marion Smith in building the railroad. Baker later became president of the T&T himself.
Baker was established in 1929 by Ralph Jacobus Fairbanks (1857–1942), who was an American prospector, entrepreneur and pioneer who established several towns in the Death Valley area of California, including Fairbanks Springs (1904–05) and Shoshone (1910).
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Baker CA
Picking the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Baker CA.
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