How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Fair Oaks 95628
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Fair Oaks CA is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Fair Oaks CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Fair Oaks CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Fair Oaks CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Fair Oaks CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Fair Oaks CA area and across California, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received 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 choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Fair Oaks CA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fair Oaks CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Fair Oaks CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Fair Oaks health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide 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 therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Fair Oaks CA residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fair Oaks CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fair Oaks California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fair Oaks CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fair Oaks, California
Fair Oaks is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 30,912 at the 2010 census, up from 28,008 at the 2000 census. The Fair Oaks zip code is 95628 and its area code is 916.
Fair Oaks is bounded on the south side by the American River, and Rancho Cordova, on the north side by the city of Citrus Heights, on the west side by Carmichael, and the east side by Orangevale and Folsom. Fair Oaks is known for its mix of suburban and semi-rural neighborhoods.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 11.2 square miles (29 km2), of which, 10.8 square miles (28 km2) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) of it (4.02%) is water.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Fair Oaks CA
Picking the best physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional 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 accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Fair Oaks CA.
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