How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Desert Center 92239
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Desert Center CA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. 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 the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Desert Center 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Desert Center CA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Desert Center CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided 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 therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy 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 near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Desert Center CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. 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, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, 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 Desert Center CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering 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 enroll in an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call several Desert Center CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight 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 two important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure 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 Desert Center CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies 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. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Desert Center CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Desert Center health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Desert Center CA home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Desert Center CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Desert Center California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Desert Center CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Desert Center, California
Desert Center is a census designated place in the Colorado Desert in Riverside County, California. It is in southern California, between the cities of Indio and Blythe at the junction of Interstate 10 and State Route 177 (Desert Center-Rice Road), about halfway between Phoenix and Los Angeles. The ZIP Code is 92239, and the community is in telephone area codes 442 and 760. The elevation is 656 feet (200 m). The population was 204 at the 2010 census.
The town was founded in 1921 by Stephen A. Ragsdale, also known as "Desert Steve", and his wife, Lydia. Ragsdale was an itinerant preacher and cotton farmer, originally from Arkansas. In 1915, he left his farm in the Palo Verde Valley along the Colorado River to attend to some business in Los Angeles. The road between Phoenix and Los Angeles was mostly sand, and Ragsdale's vehicle broke down near a place called Gruendyke's Well. This featured a hand-dug well and was inhabited by a prospector named Bill Gruendyke. Gruendyke rescued Ragsdale and gave him food, shelter, and water until his vehicle was repaired and he could resume his journey to Los Angeles.
Upon his return, Ragsdale bought out Gruendyke and moved his family to the remote spot, where they constructed a small shack with a lean-to that served as a repair garage. A Model T truck was modified to serve as a tow car. Gasoline was pumped by hand from a 55-gallon drum. Lydia served food and refreshments to thirsty and weary travelers. In spite of the remote location—50 miles (80 km) in any direction from anything—the Ragsdales prospered. Ragsdale named his outpost "Desert Center". In 1921, it was announced that the sand road running through Desert Center would be relocated about 5 miles (8.0 km) north, straightened, paved, and named U.S. Route 60, a modern "high-speed" highway. Ragsdale abandoned "old Desert Center" and built a poured-concrete café in the adobe style with an attached gasoline station and a huge service garage. Across the road, a series of wooden structures were built, including a market (which at one time was the largest Coleman camping equipment dealer in the country), and a post office. He also built several cabins for travelers, and a large "plunge" (swimming pool) next to the café where travelers could escape the desert heat.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Desert Center CA
Choosing the best physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Desert Center CA.
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