How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Kenwood 95452
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Kenwood CA is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Kenwood CA hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Kenwood CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy 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 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Kenwood CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly include 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 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 the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Kenwood CA residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Kenwood CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Kenwood CA physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It might also be a good idea to contact the California Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Kenwood CA area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) along with 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 number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have relationships with Kenwood CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Kenwood healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Kenwood CA residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist program you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Kenwood CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses 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 Kenwood California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Kenwood CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Kenwood, California is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Sonoma County, California, United States, located on Sonoma Highway (State Route 12) between the cities of Santa Rosa and Sonoma. It lies east of Sonoma Creek in the upper part of Sonoma Valley, a region sometimes called the Valley of the Moon. Bennett Mountain lies west of the town, and Sugarloaf Ridge to the northeast. The population was 1,028 at the 2010 census.
Like all of Sonoma County, Kenwood is considered part of the Wine Country. Viticulturally, it lies in the Sonoma Valley AVA. The Kenwood area is known for vineyards and wineries, restaurants, and a European-style resort. An area landmark is the Kunde Estate Winery on Sonoma Highway, which was first planted in 1879.
Kenwood Plaza Park, located two blocks south of State Route 12 at 200 Warm Springs Road and Shaw Park, which is located at 100 Shaw Ave also off State Route 12. Both are managed by the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Kenwood CA
Choosing the right physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Kenwood CA.
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