How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Hayward 94540
Getting a physical therapy degree near Hayward CA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Hayward CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Hayward CA medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite 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 Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Hayward CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some 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 implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many 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 combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Hayward CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Hayward CA area and across California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting 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 Hayward CA physical therapy centers 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 options. It might also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once 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 Hayward CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Hayward CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Hayward medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering 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 an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Hayward CA residence. Students who have chosen 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 importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and see what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Hayward CA area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Hayward California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Hayward CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Hayward (/ˈheɪwərd/; formerly Haywards, Haywards Station, and Haywood) is a city located in Alameda County, California in the East Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area. With a 2014 population of 149,392, Hayward is the sixth largest city in the Bay Area and the third largest in Alameda County. Hayward was ranked as the 37th most populous municipality in California. It is included in the San Francisco–Oakland–Fremont Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census. It is located primarily between Castro Valley and Union City, and lies at the eastern terminus of the San Mateo–Hayward Bridge. The city was devastated early in its history by the 1868 Hayward earthquake. From the early 20th century until the beginning of the 1980s, Hayward's economy was dominated by its now defunct food canning and salt production industries.
In the 19th century, the land that is now Hayward became part of Rancho San Lorenzo, a Spanish land grant to Guillermo Castro, in 1841. The site of his home was on the former El Camino Viejo, or Castro Street (now Mission Boulevard) between C and D Streets, but the structure was severely damaged in the 1868 Hayward earthquake, with the Hayward Fault running directly under its location. Most of the city's structures were destroyed in the earthquake, the last major earthquake on the fault. In 1930, that site was chosen for the construction of the City Hall, which served the city until 1969.
William Dutton Hayward arrived during the gold rush and "squatted" as he began to build a house next to the creek at the site of the old Polamares School. Guillermo Castro's Vaqueros came by one day and told Hayward to get off of Castro's property. William did leave, but went to Guillermo Castro directly and asked to buy a piece of his land. Castro sold him the area of what was east of Castro Street, now Mission Blvd and north side of A Street. William Hayward built a grand hotel on the property. He and his wife ran the hotel, which eventually burned to the ground around 1916.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Hayward CA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Hayward CA.
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