How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Exeter 93221
Getting a physical therapy degree near Exeter CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Exeter 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Exeter CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Exeter CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement 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 take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Exeter CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Exeter CA area and across California, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Exeter CA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Exeter CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have associations with Exeter CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Exeter healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Exeter CA home. Those who have decided 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 importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance department and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Exeter CA area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Exeter California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Exeter CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Exeter is located on State Highway 65, 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Highway 198 and 15 miles (24 km) east of Highway 99. Exeter is within a 3 to 4 hour drive of both Los Angeles and San Francisco, and 30 minutes from the entrance to Sequoia National Park.
The public school system in Exeter consists of: Exeter Union High School (9-12), the Wilson Middle School (6-8), Rocky Hill Elementary (K-5), Lincoln Elementary (K-5) and Kaweah High School (a continuation high school). The 1999-2000 enrollment was: grades K-8, 1,936 and grades 9-12, 1101 students.
Before the arrival of European settlers, Yokuts settled around an area in an oak forest two miles north of Exeter. The current town site was a plain that possessed elk, antelope, frogs, and deer. Rocky Hill, to the east of the city, offered shelter to native tribes when the plain flooded. Several caves on the hill contain petroglyphs, though some of the most important of these were destroyed by local vandals/looters and poorly managed and unsupervised steer.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Exeter CA
Choosing the best physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Exeter CA.
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