How to Choose a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Glen Ellen 95442
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Glen Ellen CA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, 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 varying settings, including Glen Ellen CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Glen Ellen CA health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather 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 Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Glen Ellen CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning 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 junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion 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 replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Glen Ellen CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Glen Ellen CA area and across California, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned 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 program, it can 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 simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of 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 check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact some Glen Ellen CA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice 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 Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Glen Ellen CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Glen Ellen CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Glen Ellen health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Glen Ellen CA residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glen Ellen CA area, make certain that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Glen Ellen California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Glen Ellen CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Glen Ellen, California
Glen Ellen is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California, United States. The population was 784 at the 2010 census, down from 992 at the 2000 census. Glen Ellen is the location of Jack London State Historic Park (including the Wolf House), Sonoma Valley Regional Park, and a former home of Hunter S. Thompson.
In 1859, Charles V. Stuart purchased a part of the Rancho Agua Caliente land grant and in 1868 began building a house there, eventually establishing a 1,000-acre (4.0 km2) vineyard he named Glen Ellen after his wife. The town that grew up around the vineyard also came to be called Glen Ellen, and Stuart's home was later renamed Glen Oaks Ranch.
Glen Ellen is about 6 miles (9.7 km) northwest of the city of Sonoma. The United States Census Bureau fixes the total area at 2.1 square miles (5.4 km2), 99.95% of it land and 0.05% covered by water. Sonoma Creek, the principal river of the Sonoma Valley flows through Glen Ellen.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Glen Ellen CA
Choosing the best physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to begin a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk 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 supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Glen Ellen CA.
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