How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Cottonwood 96022
Getting a physical therapist degree near Cottonwood CA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. 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 cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. 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 work in diverse locations, including Cottonwood CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cottonwood CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Cottonwood CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate 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 must also 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, 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 incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cottonwood CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer 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 Cottonwood CA area and across California, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at 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 college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Cottonwood CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two 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 may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cottonwood CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Cottonwood CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Cottonwood medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Cottonwood CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cottonwood CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cottonwood California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cottonwood CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cottonwood is a census-designated place (CDP) in Shasta County, California, United States. The population was 3,316 at the 2010 census, up from 2,960 at the 2000 census. Cottonwood was a stagecoach town where a settlement was established in 1849. The first Post Office was opened in 1852. Cottonwood is equidistant between Redding and Red Bluff, 15 miles (24 km) in either direction. It is 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Anderson.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Cottonwood had a population of 3,316. The population density was 1,433.0 people per square mile (553.3/km²). The racial makeup of Cottonwood was 2,844 (85.8%) White, 4 (0.1%) African American, 99 (3.0%) Native American, 108 (3.3%) Asian, 2 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 120 (3.6%) from other races, and 139 (4.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 352 persons (10.6%).
There were 1,200 households, out of which 500 (41.7%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 591 (49.3%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 200 (16.7%) had a female householder with no husband present, 102 (8.5%) had a male householder with no wife present. 240 households (20.0%) were made up of individuals and 80 (6.7%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.76. There were 893 families (74.4% of all households); the average family size was 3.14.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Cottonwood CA
Selecting the ideal physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Cottonwood CA.
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