How to Pick a Physical Therapy Training Program near Davis 95616
Earning a physical therapist degree near Davis CA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest 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 discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Davis CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression 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 association with other Davis CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Davis CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 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. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Davis CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Davis CA area and across California, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Davis CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Davis CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. 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 school. While 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 supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Davis CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Davis healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Large 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 likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Davis CA home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Davis CA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Davis California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Davis CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Davis, formerly known as Davisville, is a city in the U.S. state of California and the most populous city in Yolo County. It had a population of 65,622 in 2010, not including the on-campus population of the University of California, Davis, which was over 9,400 (not including students' families) in 2016. As of 2016, there were 35,186 students enrolled at the university.
Davis grew into a Southern Pacific Railroad depot built in 1868. It was then known as "Davisville", named after Jerome C. Davis, a prominent local farmer. However, the post office at Davisville shortened the town name to "Davis" in 1907. The name stuck, and the city of Davis was incorporated on March 28, 1917.
From its inception as a farming community, Davis has been known for its contributions to agricultural policy along with veterinary care and animal husbandry. Following the passage of the University Farm Bill in 1905 by the California State Legislature, Governor George Pardee selected Davis out of 50 other sites as the future home to the University of California's University Farm, officially opening to students in 1908. The farm, later renamed the Northern Branch of the College of Agriculture in 1922, was upgraded to become the seventh UC general campus, the University of California, Davis, in 1959.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist College near Davis CA
Deciding on the right physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 right selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Davis CA.
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