How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Ferndale 95536
Getting a physical therapy degree near Ferndale CA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating 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 looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Ferndale CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. 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 advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Ferndale CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Ferndale 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 usually made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 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 also must 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 commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated 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 part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Ferndale CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Ferndale CA area and across California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Ferndale CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Ferndale CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Ferndale CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Ferndale health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Ferndale CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep 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 might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Ferndale CA area, make sure 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 carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ferndale California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ferndale CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Ferndale is a city in Humboldt County, California, United States. Its population was 1,371 at the 2010 census, down from 1,382 at the 2000 census. The city contains dozens of well-preserved Victorian storefronts and homes. Ferndale is the northern gateway to California's Lost Coast and the city, which is sited on the edge of a wide plain near the mouth of the Eel River, is also located near the extensive preserves of Coast Redwood forests.
Before American settlement, Ferndale was a glade of giant ferns reaching more than six feet, surrounded by alder, willow, Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, coast redwood, swampy land and windswept prairies. The area was populated by the southern Wiyot people, centered along the Eel River where they caught lamprey eels, salmon and sturgeon in iris leaf fish nets, collected shellfish along the river and at its mouth, while cultivating only a California species of tobacco. The town was established in 1852 from settlement by Willard Allard, Seth Louis Shaw and his brother Stephen W. Shaw.
In August 1852, Allard and the Shaw brothers borrowed a canoe from the Wiyots in the Table Bluff area and rowed it across the Eel and up Francis Creek to arrive with their supplies to the approximate vicinity of Main and Shaw streets. In September 1852 they cleared a five-acre area of ferns and began building a cabin near the base of the Wildcat Road even though Allard was sick with the ague. By January 1853, twelve men were living in the Shaws' cabin including Seth Kinman, who provided the group with meat, and Joe Russ (1825-1886), whose later holdings included the Fern Cottage Historic District. About this time, Stephen Shaw painted the portrait of Wiyot elder Kiwelattah (or Ki-we-lah-tah) and kept a detailed journal of two years of trying to grow plants in cold coastal fog.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist School near Ferndale CA
Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Ferndale CA.
A Few More Interesting Locations in California
Business Results 1 - 10 of 17