How to Pick a Physical Therapist College near Farmington 95230
Getting a physical therapy degree near Farmington CA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Farmington CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Farmington CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Farmington CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. 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 training to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having 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 Therapist Schools Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Farmington CA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Farmington CA area and across California, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, 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 critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, 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 can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’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. Contact a few Farmington CA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean 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 support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Farmington CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Farmington CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Farmington medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Farmington CA home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Farmington CA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Farmington California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Farmington CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Farmington is located at 37°55′47″N 120°59′58″W / 37.92972°N 120.99944°W / 37.92972; -120.99944 (37.929625, -120.999574). According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.5 km2), all of it land. The town has a school, firehouse, bar, Circle K, Shell gas station, general store, and post office. Barren, low hills lie to the immediate east of the town, and farther east are the Sierra Nevada mountains. Stockton East Creek flows along the southern border of Farmington, paralleling Highway 4 for a short distance. The creek and many other places nearby were used as locations in the 1958 film The Big Country, as was scenes for the movie, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974).
The 2010 United States Census reported that Farmington had a population of 207. The population density was 81.4 people per square mile (31.4/km²). The racial makeup of Farmington was 164 (79.2%) White, 7 (3.4%) African American, 1 (0.5%) Native American, 6 (2.9%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 18 (8.7%) from other races, and 11 (5.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 42 persons (20.3%).
There were 79 households, out of which 26 (32.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 46 (58.2%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 5 (6.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 6 (7.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 6 (7.6%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 0 (0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 14 households (17.7%) were made up of individuals and 7 (8.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62. There were 57 families (72.2% of all households); the average family size was 2.98.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy School near Farmington CA
Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Farmington CA.
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