How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Inglewood 90301
Getting a physical therapy degree near Inglewood CA is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Inglewood CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Inglewood CA medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Inglewood CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance 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 require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Inglewood CA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Inglewood CA area and across California, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Inglewood CA physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It may 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 School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean 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 Inglewood CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Inglewood CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Inglewood health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Inglewood CA home. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep 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 have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Inglewood CA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Inglewood California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Inglewood CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Inglewood is a city in southwestern Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 109,673. It was incorporated on February 14, 1908. The city is in the South Bay region of Los Angeles County.Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park is currently under construction in the city and when completed around 2020 will be the new home of both the National Football League's Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers. The city is also close to Los Angeles International Airport.
The earliest residents of what is now Inglewood were Native Americans who used the natural springs in today's Edward Vincent Jr. Park (known for most of its history as Centinela Park). Local historian Gladys Waddingham wrote that these springs took the name Centinela from the hills that rose gradually around them and which allowed ranchers to watch over their herds "(thus the name centinelas or sentinels)".:unpaged [xiv]
Waddingham traced the written history of Inglewood back to the original settlers of Los Angeles in 1781, one of whom was the Spanish soldier Jose Manuel Orchado Machado, "a 23-year-old muleteer from Los Alamos in Sinaloa". These settlers, she wrote, were ordered by the officials of the San Gabriel Mission "to graze their animals on the ocean side of Los Angeles in order not to infringe on Mission lands." As a result, the settlers, or pobladores, drove some of their cattle to the "lush pasture lands near Centinela Springs," and the first construction there was done by one Ygnacio Avila, who received a permit in 1822 to build a "corral and hut for his herders.":unpaged [xiv]
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Inglewood CA
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Inglewood CA.
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