How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Buttonwillow 93206
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Buttonwillow CA is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Buttonwillow CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Buttonwillow CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, 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
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, 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. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Buttonwillow 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion 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 United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Buttonwillow CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including 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 since there are so many PT schools within the Buttonwillow CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Buttonwillow CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see 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 should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Buttonwillow CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA 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 schools you are interested in have relationships with Buttonwillow CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Buttonwillow health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way 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 one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Buttonwillow CA residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Buttonwillow CA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Buttonwillow California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Buttonwillow CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Buttonwillow is an unincorporated community in the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, California. Buttonwillow is 26 miles (42 km) west of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 269 feet (82 m)). The population was 1,508 at the 2010 census, up from 1,266 at the 2000 census. The center of population of California is located in Buttonwillow.[note 1]
Buttonwillow was named for the buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). A lone buttonbush served as a landmark on an old trans-valley trail and was used by ancient Yokut Indian as a meeting place, later becoming the site of settlers' stock rodeos. The Miller-Lux holdings company eventually established a headquarters and store near the tree. This tree is listed as California Historical Landmark No. 492. This landmark is now known as the Buttonwillow Tree.
Buttonwillow is a major stop for motorists traveling on Interstate 5. It includes gas stations including (Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and Arco), a McDonald's, a Carl's Jr., a drive-thru Starbucks, Willow Ranch BBQ restaurant, an Indian restaurant, Subway, a Mexican-Salvadoran restaurant, TravelCenters of America, Denny's, and Castro Tire & Truckwash. These are all at the exit of State Route 58.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Buttonwillow CA
Selecting the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Buttonwillow CA.
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