How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Gilroy 95020
Earning a physical therapist degree near Gilroy CA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Gilroy CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Gilroy CA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Gilroy CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Gilroy CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. 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.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Gilroy CA area and across California, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you select 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 schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 choose an online college, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Gilroy CA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Gilroy CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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 therapy college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Gilroy CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional connections in the Gilroy healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Gilroy CA residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Gilroy CA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Gilroy California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Gilroy CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Gilroy (/ˈɡɪlrɔɪ/) is a city located in Northern California's Santa Clara County, south of Morgan Hill and north of San Benito County. The city's population was 48,821 at the 2010 United States Census.
Gilroy is well known for its garlic crop and for the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, featuring various garlicky foods such as garlic ice cream, leading to the city's nickname as the "Garlic Capital of the World". Gilroy also produces mushrooms in considerable quantity. Gilroy is well known for boutique wine production, which is a large part of Gilroy's western portion, mostly consisting of family estates around the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west.
Spanish explorers led by Juan Bautista de Anza first passed through the Santa Clara Valley area in 1776, and in 1797 Mission San Juan Bautista was established near the Pajaro River. In 1809, Ygnacio Ortega was granted the 13,066-acre (5,288 ha) Spanish land concession Rancho San Ysidro. The village of San Ysidro (not to be confused with the present-day San Diego community) grew nearby, at the foot of Pacheco Pass which linked the El Camino Real and the Santa Clara Valley with the San Joaquin Valley. California's main exports at this time were hides and tallow, of which thousands of barrels were produced and shipped to the rest of New Spain. Trade and diplomatic intercourse with foreigners was strictly forbidden by the royal government but was quietly carried on by Californians desperate for luxury goods.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Gilroy CA
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Gilroy CA.
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