How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Highland 92346
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Highland CA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Highland CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. 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 experiencing 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 problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Highland CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, 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 available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Highland CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Highland CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Highland CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. 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 organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Highland CA physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Highland CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although 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 Offered? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Highland CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Highland medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized 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 a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Highland CA home. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 keep in mind is that if you choose 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 typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Highland CA area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Highland California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Highland CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Highland is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population in 2010 (US Census) was 53,104, up from 44,605 at the 2000 census. The term Highland also refers to a geographical area of the city of San Bernardino (generally east of Del Rosa Avenue to the eastern city limits), and parts of unincorporated San Bernardino County. Highland is generally divided into two regions, East Highland and Highland (Generally considered west of the 210, with the majority of inhabitants living east of the freeway.)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.9 square miles (48.9 km²). 18.8 square miles (48.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.71%) is water.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Highland had a population of 53,104. The population density was 2,811.3 people per square mile (1,085.4/km²). The racial makeup of Highland was 27,836 (52.4%) White (30.8% Non-Hispanic White), 5,887 (11.1%) African American, 542 (1.0%) Native American, 3,954 (7.4%) Asian, 168 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 11,826 (22.3%) from other races, and 2,891 (5.4%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,556 persons (48.1%).
Select the Best Physical Therapy College near Highland CA
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Highland CA.
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