How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Corcoran 93212
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Corcoran CA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Corcoran CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems 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:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Corcoran CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as 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 explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Corcoran CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so 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 necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Corcoran CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Corcoran CA area and across California, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Corcoran CA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare 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 contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Corcoran CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Corcoran CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Corcoran healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Corcoran CA home. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Corcoran CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Corcoran California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Corcoran CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Corcoran is a city in Kings County, California, United States. Corcoran is located 17 miles (27 km) south-southeast of Hanford, at an elevation of 207 ft (63 m). It is part of the Hanford–Corcoran Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 24,813 (2010 census), up from 14,458 (2000 census). The California Department of Finance estimated that Corcoran's population was 22,691 on January 1, 2016.
Corcoran is most famous as the site of the California State Prison, Corcoran, home to a number of notable inmates such as Charles Manson, and Juan Corona. The California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison, Corcoran is a separate facility that is also located in the city. As of January 1. 2015, the two prisons held a combined total of 9,592 inmates. Inmates are counted as city residents by both the United States Census and the California Department of Finance. Thus, the incarcerated persons in the two prisons comprise just over 43% of the total population of Corcoran.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Corcoran had a population of 24,813. The population density was 3,323.2 people per square mile (1,283.1/km²). The racial makeup of Corcoran was 8,940 (36.0%) White, 3,725 (15.0%) African American, 349 (1.4%) Native American, 193 (0.8%) Asian, 17 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 10,979 (44.2%) from other races, and 610 (2.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15,545 persons (62.6%).
Pick the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Corcoran CA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need 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 school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 options so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Corcoran CA.
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