How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Emeryville 94608
Earning a physical therapy degree near Emeryville CA is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Emeryville CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share 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 experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Emeryville CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, 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 preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Emeryville CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more 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 close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Emeryville CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Emeryville CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Emeryville CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Emeryville CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Emeryville CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on 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 Emeryville healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Emeryville CA residence. 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 area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider 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 commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Emeryville CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Emeryville California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Emeryville CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Emeryville is a small city located in northwest Alameda County, California, in the United States. It is located in a corridor between the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, extending to the shore of San Francisco Bay. Its proximity to San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, the University of California, Berkeley, and Silicon Valley has been a catalyst for recent economic growth.
It is the home to Pixar Animation Studios, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Jamba Juice, The Center for Investigative Reporting and Clif Bar. In addition, several well known tech and software companies have made their home in Emeryville: LeapFrog, Sendmail, MobiTV, Novartis (formerly Chiron before April 2006), Wargaming America, and BigFix (now IBM). The population was 10,080 as of 2010, although it swells considerably on weekdays due to the city's position as a regional employment center.
Before the colonization of the area by Spain in 1776, this area was the site of extensive Ohlone Native American settlements. Mudflats rich with clams and rocky areas with oysters, plus fishing, hunting, and acorns from the local oak trees provided a rich and easily exploited food source for the residents, who disposed of their clam and oyster shells in a single place, over time creating a huge mound, the Emeryville Shellmound.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy College near Emeryville CA
Picking the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your ultimate 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 college help me realize 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 appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Emeryville CA.
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