How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Calexico 92231
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Calexico CA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating 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 the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Calexico CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Calexico CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Calexico CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of 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 integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Calexico CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Calexico CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 select an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Calexico CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact 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 Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Calexico CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Calexico CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on 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 form professional relationships in the Calexico healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Calexico CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Calexico CA area, check that they are available. 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 enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Calexico California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Calexico CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Calexico is a city in Imperial County, California. The population was 38,572 at the 2010 census, up from 27,109 at the 2000 census. Calexico is about 122 miles (196 km) east of San Diego and 62 miles (100 km) west of Yuma, Arizona. The name of the city is a portmanteau of California and Mexico, which, like that of its adjacent sister city of Mexicali, emphasizes its identity as a border city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, at the 2010 census, the city had a total area of 6.2 square miles (16 km2), all land. Calexico is located 230 miles (370 km) southeast of Los Angeles, 125 miles (201 km) east of San Diego, 260 miles (420 km) west of Phoenix, and adjacent to Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Calexico is served by State Routes 98, 7 and 111, with direct connection to Interstate 8 (5 miles north) and State Route 86. There are eighteen regular and irregular common carriers for intrastate and interstate truck service to Calexico.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Calexico CA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is an important first decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Calexico CA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in California