How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near La Mirada 90637
Getting a physical therapy degree near La Mirada CA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as La Mirada CA private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other La Mirada CA health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, 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 Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable 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 advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the La Mirada CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of licensed 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 Therapist Online Programs
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s La Mirada CA home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy 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 so many PT colleges within the La Mirada CA area and across California, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few La Mirada CA physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may 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 support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the La Mirada CA area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with La Mirada CA hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the La Mirada health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their La Mirada CA residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college 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 frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the La Mirada CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near La Mirada California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the La Mirada CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
La Mirada, California
La Mirada is a city in southeast Los Angeles County, California, United States, and is one of the Gateway Cities. The population was 48,527 at the 2010 census, up from 46,783 at the 2000 census. In 2006, the city of La Mirada was listed on CNN Money Magazine's "Best Place to Live" list. La Mirada placed 34th on the list, with the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and the Splash! La Mirada Regional Aquatics Center as two of its main attributes. It is also the home of Biola University, an evangelical Christian institution of higher education.
La Mirada (Spanish for the look) was the creation of two men, Andrew McNally, a printer and mapmaker from Chicago (see Rand McNally) and his son-in-law Edwin Neff. In 1888, McNally purchased over 2,200 acres (8.9 km2) of Rancho Los Coyotes, south of Whittier, for $200,000. He developed 700 acres (2.8 km2) into his own home called Windermere Ranch and surrounded it with olive, orange and lemon groves. McNally built a plant to process the olive oil, which was of the best quality, as well as a railroad station on Stage Road. From here his olive oil and fruit were shipped all over the U.S.
In 1896, McNally turned his property over to his daughter and his son in law. McNally and Neff formed the La Mirada Land Company, which published a booklet entitled "The Country Gentleman in California", advertising parcels of land for sale including pictures, a map and descriptions of the scenic olive, alfalfa, lemon and grapefruit groves.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near La Mirada CA
Picking the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in La Mirada CA.
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