How to Choose a Physical Therapist Program near Culver City 90230
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Culver City CA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, 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 important to evaluate those you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior 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 home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Culver City CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Culver City CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Culver City CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, 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 USA. Some practicing physical therapists having 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 Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Culver City CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Culver City CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Culver City CA physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It might also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, 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 Culver City CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Culver City CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Culver City medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Culver City CA home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Culver City CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Culver City California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Culver City CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Culver City, California
Culver City is a city in Los Angeles County, California. The city was named after its founder, Harry Culver. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 38,883. It is mostly surrounded by the city of Los Angeles, but also shares a border with unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. Over the years, it has annexed more than 40 pieces of adjoining land and now comprises about five square miles.
Since the 1920s, Culver City has been a center for motion picture and later television production, best known as the home of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios. From 1932 to 1986, it was the headquarters for the Hughes Aircraft Company. National Public Radio West and Sony Pictures Entertainment have headquarters in the city. The NFL Network studio is also based in Culver City.
Archaeological evidence suggests a human presence in the area of present-day Culver City since at least 8,000 BC. The region was the homeland of the Tongva-Gabrieliño Native Americans.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Culver City CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Culver City CA.
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