How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Helendale 92342
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Helendale CA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of settings, such as Helendale CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Helendale CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Helendale CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and usually include 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 overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Helendale CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Helendale CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Helendale CA physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your college selections. It may also be prudent to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Helendale CA area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study 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 therapy school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have relationships with Helendale CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Helendale healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Helendale CA home. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Helendale CA area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative 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 may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Helendale California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Helendale CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
It is on historic Route 66, west of the Mojave Freeway (I-15), between Barstow and Victorville. The name Helendale is used by the USPS, while Silver Lakes is used by the US Census. The 2010 United States census reported Silver Lakes's population was 5,623.
Several Native American tribes lived in the area, namely the Mojave and Serrano. It is believed that the first White man to travel through was the Franciscan priest Francisco Garcés in 1776. He was exploring a route to the missions on the Coast following the Mojave River.
The original name for Helendale was Point of Rocks. There were several early trails and roadways through this area of the Mojave Desert, including the Mojave Trail, which was used by the Indians and Father Garcés, the Spanish Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, the Mormon Trail, et cetera.
Select the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Helendale CA
Deciding on the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Helendale CA.
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