How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near Gardena 90247
Earning a physical therapy degree near Gardena CA is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with 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 what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Gardena CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Gardena CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Gardena CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 offered 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 prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as common as the on campus options, 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 incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Gardena CA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Gardena CA area and across California, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. 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 may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Gardena CA physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be prudent 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 Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest 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 hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Gardena CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study 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 therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Gardena CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Gardena health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Gardena CA home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gardena CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask 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 Gardena California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Gardena CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Gardena is a city located in the South Bay (southwestern) region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. The population was 58,829 at the 2010 census, up from 57,746 at the 2000 census. Until 2014, the US census cited the City of Gardena as the place with the highest percentage of Japanese Americans in California. Gardena has a large Japanese population, helping make the South Bay region of Los Angeles home to the largest concentration of Japanese companies within the mainland United States.
Based on archaeological findings, the Tongva people hunted and fished in the area of today's Gardena. The Tongva Indians — also known as Gabrielino Indians — are probably descendants of those who crossed from Asia to North America around 10,000 years ago.
In 1784, three years after the foundation of Los Angeles, Juan Jose Dominguez (1736–1809), a Spanish soldier who arrived in San Diego, California in 1769 with Fernando Rivera y Moncada, in recognition of his military service, received the roughly 43,000-acre (170 km2) Spanish land grant, the Rancho San Pedro. Part of this land contained what became known as Gardena Valley. After the American Civil War veterans bought parts of the land, and soon ranchers and farmers followed suit. Union Army Major General William Starke Rosecrans in 1869 bought 16,000 acres (65 km2). The "Rosecrans Rancho" was bordered by what later was Florence Avenue on the north, Redondo Beach Boulevard on the south, Central Avenue on the east, and Arlington Avenue on the west. The Rosecrans property was subdivided and sold in the early 1870s. One of those became the 650-acre (2.6 km2) Amestoy Ranch. Gardena proper began in 1887 when the Pomeroy & Harrison real estate developers subdivided the ranch, anticipating the coming of the Los Angeles and Redondo Railway. Civil War veteran Spencer Roane Thorpe is credited with starting the first settlement in Gardena in 1887. Railroads put Gardena on the map following a real estate boom in the Los Angeles area in the 1880s.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy College near Gardena CA
Deciding on the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Gardena CA.
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