How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near La Crescenta 91214
Earning a physical therapy degree near La Crescenta CA is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with 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 home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, such as La Crescenta 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are struggling with 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 problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other La Crescenta CA medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the La Crescenta CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s La Crescenta CA residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the La Crescenta CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’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 as well. Get in touch with a few La Crescenta CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It might 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 College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the La Crescenta CA area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with La Crescenta CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the La Crescenta medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their La Crescenta CA home. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 bear in mind is that if you decide 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 usually 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 Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the La Crescenta CA area, confirm that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure 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 La Crescenta California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the La Crescenta CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
La Crescenta-Montrose, California
La Crescenta-Montrose is an unincorporated area in Los Angeles County, California. The community bordered by Glendale to the south and west, La Cañada Flintridge to the east, and Angeles National Forest to the north. According to the United States Census Bureau, the La Crescenta-Montrose CDP measures about 3.4 square miles (8.8 km2), and the population was 19,653 at the 2010 census, up from 18,532 in the 2000 census.
La Crescenta-Montrose is bordered on the north by the San Gabriel Mountains and Angeles National Forest, on the east by La Cañada Flintridge, on the south by the Verdugo Mountains and central Glendale, and the northwest by the Sunland-Tujunga community of Los Angeles. The Foothill Freeway (I-210) runs through the southern portion of the area.
The 2010 United States Census reported that La Crescenta-Montrose had a population of 19,653. The population density was 5,717.8 people per square mile (2,207.7/km2). The racial makeup of La Crescenta-Montrose was 12,807 (65.2%) White (57.9% Non-Hispanic White), 142 (0.7%) African American, 70 (0.4%) Native American, 5,375 (27.3%) Asian, 12 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 533 (2.7%) from other races, and 714 (3.6%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,232 persons (11.4%).
Choose the Right Physical Therapist College near La Crescenta CA
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in La Crescenta CA.
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