How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist School near Duarte 91009
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Duarte CA is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Duarte CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Duarte CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one 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 advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Duarte CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 attainable in the United States. 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 common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Duarte CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less 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 option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Duarte CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 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 choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Duarte CA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left 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 Duarte CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have associations with Duarte CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Duarte medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Duarte CA residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Duarte CA area, make sure 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, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Duarte California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Duarte CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
It is bounded to the north by the San Gabriel Mountains, to the north and west by the cities of Bradbury and Monrovia, to the south by the city of Irwindale, and to the east by the cities of Irwindale and Azusa.
Duarte is located on historic U.S. Route 66 which today follows Huntington Drive through the middle of the city. The town holds an annual Salute to Route 66 Parade on the third weekend in September on Huntington Drive.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Duarte had a population of 21,321. The population density was 3,186.8 people per square mile (1,230.4/km²). The racial makeup of Duarte was 11,076 (51.9%) White (26.9% Non-Hispanic White), 1,587 (7.4%) African American, 179 (0.8%) Native American, 3,361 (15.8%) Asian, 26 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 4,108 (19.3%) from other races, and 984 (4.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10,190 persons (47.8%).
Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Duarte CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Duarte CA.
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