How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Joshua Tree 92252
Earning a physical therapy degree near Joshua Tree CA is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying settings, including Joshua Tree CA private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Joshua Tree CA health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Joshua Tree CA area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more 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 school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Joshua Tree CA residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Joshua Tree CA area and across California, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned 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 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 just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Joshua Tree CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It might 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 colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 Joshua Tree CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Joshua Tree CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Joshua Tree medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Joshua Tree CA residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Joshua Tree CA area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Joshua Tree California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Joshua Tree CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Joshua Tree, California
Joshua Tree is a census-designated place (CDP) in San Bernardino County, California, United States. The population was 7,414 at the 2010 census. At approximately 2,700 feet above sea level, Joshua Tree and its surrounding communities are located in the High Desert of California. The center of the business district in Joshua Tree is on California State Route 62.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total all land area of 95.9 km² (37.0 mi²). Joshua Tree, California is home to Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree shares the border to its east with Twentynine Palms, California, its western border with Yucca Valley, California, its northwestern border with Landers, California, and its southern border is Coachella Valley, California.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Joshua Tree had a population of 7,414. The population density was 200.1 people per square mile (77.3/km²). The racial makeup of Joshua Tree was 6,176 (83.3%) White (73.9% Non-Hispanic White), 234 (3.2%) African American, 84 (1.1%) Native American, 104 (1.4%) Asian, 18 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 368 (5.0%) from other races, and 430 (5.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1,308 persons (17.6%).
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Joshua Tree CA
Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Joshua Tree CA.
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