How to Find the Right Physical Therapy College near Durham 95938
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Durham CA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Durham CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Durham CA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Durham CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Durham CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Durham CA area and across California, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 select an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing 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 Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’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 also. Call some Durham CA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It might 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 colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Durham CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Durham CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Durham medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Durham CA residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Help Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Durham CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Durham California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Durham CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Durham Region municipal elections, 2018
The size of the Ajax Town council will remain the same for 2018, however the town loses one local councillor and gains one regional councillor, necessitating a reduction in the number of wards from four to three.
For 2018, Oshawa has re-adopted a ward based system, where voters in each ward will elect one councillor to serve on both regional and city council and one that will sit on just city council. Five Regional & City Councillors will be elected by electors in 1 of 5 wards.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Durham CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Durham CA.
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