Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – East Irvine CA

How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near East Irvine 92650

East Irvine CA physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near East Irvine CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver 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 residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

East Irvine CA physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, including East Irvine 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other East Irvine CA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

East Irvine CA physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the East Irvine CA area:

  • Associate Degrees educate 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 GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer offered 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 Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in East Irvine CAWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s East Irvine CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the East Irvine CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few East Irvine CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the East Irvine CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with East Irvine CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional connections in the East Irvine healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. 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 converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their East Irvine CA home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the East Irvine CA area, make sure that they are offered. 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near East Irvine California?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the East Irvine CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Irvine, California

developing the area in the 1960s and the city was formally incorporated on December 28, 1971. The 66-square-mile (170 km2) city[13] had a population of 212,375 as of the 2010 census; in 2018 the California Department of Finance estimated the city's population at 276,176.[9]

A number of corporations, particularly in the technology and semiconductor sectors, have their national or international headquarters in Irvine. Irvine is also home to several higher education institutions including the University of California, Irvine (UCI), Concordia University, Irvine Valley College, the Orange County Center of the University of Southern California (USC), and campuses of California State University Fullerton (CSUF), University of La Verne, and Pepperdine University.

The Gabrieleño indigenous group inhabited Irvine about 2,000 years ago. Gaspar de Portolà, a Spanish explorer, came to the area in 1769, which led to the establishment of forts, missions and cattle herds. The King of Spain parceled out land for missions and private use.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near East Irvine CA

Choosing the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed 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 need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges 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 licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in East Irvine CA.

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