How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Encino 91316
Getting a physical therapy degree near Encino CA is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Encino CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Encino CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in 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 training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Encino CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Encino CA home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Encino CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Encino CA physical therapist 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 college options. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Encino CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. 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 college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have partnerships with Encino CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Encino healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want 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 pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Encino CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Encino CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Encino California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Encino CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Encino, Los Angeles
In 1769, the Spanish Portola expedition, first Europeans to see inland areas of California, traveled north through Sepulveda pass into the San Fernando Valley on August 5 and stayed two nights at a native village near what is now Los Encinos State Historic Park. Fray Juan Crespi, a Franciscan missionary travelling with the expedition, named the valley "El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de Los Encinos" (The Valley of St. Catherine of Bononia of the Oaks). All of Crespi's name was later dropped except "Encino".
Rancho Los Encinos (Ranch of Oak Trees) was established in 1845 when a large parcel of former Mission San Fernando land was granted to three Mission Indians by governor Pio Pico. Many ranchos were created after the secularization of the California missions, which began in 1834. Encino derives its name from the rancho.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 41,905 residents in the 9.5-square-mile (25 km2) Encino neighborhood — 4,411 inhabitants per square mile (1,703/km2), among the lowest population densities for the city but average for the county. In 2008, the city estimated that the resident population had increased to 44,581.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Encino CA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Encino CA.
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