How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Downey 90239
Getting a physical therapy degree near Downey CA is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select 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 evaluated 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Downey CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Downey CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Downey CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete 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 also must 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 investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Downey CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Downey CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously 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 may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Downey CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Downey CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have associations with Downey CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Downey healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Downey CA home. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider 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 normally 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 support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Downey CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Downey California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Downey CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Downey is a city located in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, 13 mi (21 km) southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It is considered part of the Gateway Cities. The city is the birthplace of the Apollo space program, and is the hometown of Richard and Karen Carpenter. It is also the home of the oldest still operational McDonald's restaurant in the world. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 111,779.
Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in Alta California, the area that is now Downey was inhabited by the Tongva ethnic group, which came to be called the Gabrielino by the Spanish. The nearest Tongva settlements appear to have been just north and northeast of present-day Downey, although there is difficulty in locating them precisely. The villages of Naxaaw’nga and Sehat seem to have been situated near the present-day community of Los Nietos, or perhaps farther west on sites that were lost to floods of the San Gabriel River. Chokiishnga and Huutnga are other Tongva place names that may have referred to villages in the general area north of Downey between the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo. In all four cases, it is difficult to relate the original location descriptions, based on ranchos and land grants, to more specific sites identifiable by today's landmarks.
Mission San Gabriel Arcángel was initially founded on September 8, 1771, near these concentrations of Tongva population, at a site in the Whittier Narrows on a bluff overlooking the Rio Hondo near the intersection of today's San Gabriel Blvd and Lincoln Avenue. After five years, flooding forced the relocation of the mission to its present site in San Gabriel.
Select the Best Physical Therapy College near Downey CA
Picking the right physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Downey CA.
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