How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Canyon Country 91351
Earning a physical therapist degree near Canyon Country CA is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Canyon Country CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Canyon Country CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Canyon Country CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education 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 preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Canyon Country CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Canyon Country CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Canyon Country CA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It might also be prudent 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Canyon Country CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Canyon Country CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Canyon Country healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Canyon Country CA residence. Students who have opted 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 importance. One thing 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 may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often 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 Help Offered? The majority of 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 help is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Canyon Country CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Canyon Country California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Canyon Country CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Canyon Country, Santa Clarita, California
Canyon Country is north of the San Fernando Valley via Newhall Pass through the Santa Susana and San Gabriel Mountains. Canyon Country is located in the upper watershed of the Santa Clara River in the Santa Clarita Valley and Sierra Pelona Mountains foothills.
The area was the ancestral homeland of the Tataviam people for over five hundred years, and other tribes before then, such as the Tongva, Kitanemuk, and Serrano people. After the Spanish invasion, the valley first became grazing lands of the Mission San Fernando Rey de España around 1790. In 1834, after Mexican Independence, it became part of the Rancho San Francisco land grant centered on the confluence of the Santa Clara River and Castaic Creek.
In the 1880s the rancho become the Newhall Ranch empire of Henry Newhall, now the present day Newhall Land and Farming Company. In 1928 the St. Francis Dam collapsed, suddenly flooding and washing away settlements and people along the Santa Clara River section of present-day Santa Clarita not including Canyon Country. Canyon Country was originally to be called Solemint. It later absorbed the community to the west called Honby. In the 1960s and 1970s the Newhall Land company's suburban developments transformed Canyon Country and the surrounding towns into a focused residential and cultural city.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Canyon Country CA
Picking the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish 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 right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Canyon Country CA.
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