How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Homewood 96141
Earning a physical therapy degree near Homewood CA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Homewood CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Homewood CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Homewood CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often incorporate 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 must also 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 commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Homewood CA home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Homewood CA area and across California, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated 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 choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Homewood CA physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Homewood CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In each 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, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have associations with Homewood CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Homewood health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final 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 School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Homewood CA home. Individuals who have decided 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 concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Homewood CA area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Homewood California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Homewood CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Homewood is an unincorporated community in Placer County, California of about 200 residents, located on the west shore of Lake Tahoe. It is located 5.5 miles (8.9 km) south of Tahoe City and north of Chambers Landing and Tahoma. It is the location of Homewood Mountain Resort. The community of Tahoe Pines uses Homewood's ZIP Code, 96141. Thomas McConnell is said to be the founder of Homewood, after he purchased lakefront property on Lake Tahoe's west shore and laid out the Homewood District with property on either side of Highway 89 in 1889. The Homewood Post Office was later established in 1909.
The Homewood area on the shore of Lake Tahoe is also host to the Homewood Mountain Ski Resort. The resort comprises 1,260 acres (5.1 km2), 7 ski lifts, 60 runs and 1,650 vertical feet with a summit of 7,880 feet (2,400 m).
Pick the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Homewood CA
Selecting the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Homewood CA.
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