How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Granada Hills 91344
Getting a physical therapist degree near Granada Hills CA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Granada Hills CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Granada Hills CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single 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 advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Granada Hills CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 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 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 available in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Granada Hills CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning a few of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Granada Hills CA area and across California, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online school, it can also receive 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. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Granada Hills CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Granada Hills CA area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Granada Hills CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Granada Hills medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher 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 talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Granada Hills CA residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern 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 decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Granada Hills CA area, verify that they are offered. 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, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Granada Hills California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Granada Hills CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Granada Hills, Los Angeles
The community began as dairy farm and orchard known as the Sunshine Ranch which grew apricots, oranges, walnuts and beans. Vestiges of former citrus groves can still be seen in orange, lemon or grapefruit trees in many residential yards. In 1916, the San Fernando Valley's first oil well was drilled in what is now Granada Hills. The oil well was located at the northern tip of Zelzah Avenue. Granada Hills was founded in 1926 as "Granada;" the "Hills" portion of the name was added 15 years later.
Granada Hills is located at the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountains, north of North Hills, Northridge, west of Mission Hills and Sylmar, and east of the Porter Ranch neighborhoods of Los Angeles. The Ronald Reagan Freeway–Route 118 runs through its southern area.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 50,535 residents in the 15.11-square neighborhood—or 3,344 people per square mile. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 53,998. In 2000 the median age for residents was 37,
Pick the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Granada Hills CA
Deciding on the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Granada Hills CA.
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