How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy College near Castro Valley 94546
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Castro Valley CA is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Castro Valley CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. 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 people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Castro Valley CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Castro Valley CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so 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 close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Castro Valley CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can 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
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Castro Valley CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier stated, 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Castro Valley CA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact 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 relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Castro Valley CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Castro Valley CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Castro Valley medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Castro Valley CA residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear 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 normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Castro Valley CA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Castro Valley California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Castro Valley CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Castro Valley, California
Castro Valley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Alameda County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, it is the fifth most populous unincorporated area in California[better source needed] and the twenty-third most populous in the United States. The population was 61,388 at the 2010 census.
With the arrival of Europeans, Castro Valley was part of the land granted to Mission San Jose in 1797. The area Castro Valley now occupies was part of the extensive colony of New Spain in what was the state of Alta California.
Castro Valley was part of the original 28,000 acre (110 km²) land grant given to Castro in 1840, called Rancho San Lorenzo. This land grant included Hayward, San Lorenzo, and Castro Valley, including Crow Canyon, Cull Canyon, and Palomares Canyons. Castro had a gambling habit and had to sell off portions of his land to pay gambling debts. The last of his holding was sold in a sheriff's sale in 1864 to Faxon Atherton for $400,000.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Castro Valley CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Castro Valley CA.
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