How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Greenbrae 94904
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Greenbrae CA is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Greenbrae CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Greenbrae CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Greenbrae CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.
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. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Greenbrae CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, 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 option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Greenbrae CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it may 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 simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Greenbrae CA physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of 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 Greenbrae CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have associations with Greenbrae CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Greenbrae health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Greenbrae CA home. Those 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. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide 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 must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Greenbrae CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Greenbrae California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Greenbrae CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Greenbrae is a small unincorporated community in Marin County, California. It is located 1.5 miles (2 km) south-southeast of downtown San Rafael, at an elevation of 33 feet (10 m), located adjacent to U.S. Route 101 at the opening of the Ross Valley. Part of Greenbrae is an unincorporated community of the county while the remaining area is inside the city limits of Larkspur. The ZIP code is 94904, and is shared with the neighboring Census-designated place (CDP) of Kentfield. The community is in area codes 415 and 628.
Predominantly composed of hillside and waterfront terrain, its homes and offices are known for their views of the San Francisco Bay, Corte Madera Creek, and Mount Tamalpais. "Brae" means a steep bank or hillside in dialects of Scotland and Northern Ireland; Greenbrae translates to "green hillside." The developer of Greenbrae, Niels Schultz, Jr., died in early 2008. Greenbrae's neighborhoods are bordered by downtown Larkspur to the south, Larkspur Landing to the east, the unincorporated area of Kentfield to the west, and the city of San Rafael to the north. Straddling Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, its most frequented points of interest include Marin General Hospital and Bon Air Shopping Center.
Greenbrae was home to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer for over 30 years, until 2006. Pediatrician William Silverman, who influenced the development of the neonatal intensive care unit, died there in 2004. Writer Jack Finney died in Greenbrae shortly after completing his last novel, as did Les Crane. Radio host Michael Krasny is a long term resident. American poet FrancEyE died in Greenbrae on June 2, 2009. Additionally, the runner-up of the second season of the cooking competition show Masterchef Junior Samuel Stromberg also lives in Greenbrae.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Greenbrae CA
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Greenbrae CA.
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