How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Castaic 91310
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Castaic CA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Castaic CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Castaic CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, 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 prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Castaic CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can 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 programs are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent 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 nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Castaic CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Castaic CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier mentioned, 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 college, it may also receive 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, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting 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 as well. Call several Castaic CA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate 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 assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Castaic CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Castaic CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Castaic medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Castaic CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Castaic CA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Castaic California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Castaic CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Castaic, California (also spelled Castec, or Kashtiq; pronunciation is a source of contention between older and newer residents, see below) is an unincorporated community located in the northern part of Los Angeles County, California. Many thousands of motorists pass through Castaic daily as they drive to or from Los Angeles on Interstate 5. Castaic Lake is part of the California Water Project and is the site of a hydro-electric power plant. Castaic is 41.7 miles (67.1 km) northwest of Los Angeles Union Station and due north of the city of Santa Clarita, California.
On Spanish documents, the original spelling was Castec, which represented the Chumash Native American word Kashtiq, meaning "eyes" or "wet spot." Castec is first mentioned on old boundary maps of Rancho San Francisco, as a canyon at the trailhead leading to the old Chumash camp at Castac Lake (Tejon Ranch), which is intermittently wet and briny.
Modern Castaic began in 1887 when Southern Pacific set up a railroad siding on the line between Piru and Saugus Station, naming it "Castaic Junction". Between January and April 1890, the Castec School District adopted the new spelling, Castaic.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Castaic CA
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve 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 proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Castaic CA.
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