How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Brentwood 94513
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Brentwood CA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Brentwood CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Brentwood CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended 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 attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Brentwood CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- 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 eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so 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 close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Brentwood CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Brentwood CA area and across California, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Brentwood CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Brentwood CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Brentwood CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Brentwood healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Brentwood CA home. 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Brentwood CA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Brentwood California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Brentwood CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Brentwood is a city in Contra Costa County, California, United States. It is located in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area. The population is 51,481 as of 2010, an increase of 121 percent from 23,302 at the 2000 census.
Brentwood began as a community in the late 19th century, and still is known throughout the Bay Area for its agricultural products, primarily its cherries, corn and peaches. Due to urban sprawl many of the old farms and orchards have been replaced by suburban developments since 1990. Brentwood is increasingly residential, with the rate of population growth in the triple digits during the 1990s and 69% from 2000 through 2005.
Brentwood was originally laid out on land donated from property owned by John Marsh, an East Contra Costa County pioneer who acquired Rancho Los Meganos, the land grant that Brentwood is built upon, in 1837 from Jose Noriega. Marsh was one of the wealthiest men in California and was instrumental in its becoming independent from Mexico and part of the United States. His letters extolling the potential for agriculture in California were published in newspapers throughout the East. They resulted in the first wagon trains to California. Marsh encouraged this, and allowed new arrivals to stay on his ranch until they could get settled. Rancho Los Meganos became the terminus of the California Trail. Brentwood was named after Marsh's ancestral home, the town of Brentwood in the County of Essex, England.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Brentwood CA
Picking the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Brentwood CA.
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