How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Lemon Grove 91945
Getting a physical therapy degree near Lemon Grove CA is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated besides 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Lemon Grove 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 due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Lemon Grove CA health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely 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 3 physical therapy degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Lemon Grove CA area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become 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 made available by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lemon Grove CA residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Lemon Grove CA area and throughout California, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Lemon Grove CA physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school options. 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 filed against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Lemon Grove 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 excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for California or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Lemon Grove CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Lemon Grove medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Lemon Grove CA home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Lemon Grove CA area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lemon Grove California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Lemon Grove CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Lemon Grove, California
The area that eventually became Lemon Grove was part of Mission San Diego de Alcalá, one of the Spanish missions in California. After Mexico became independent from Spain, the Californios (residents of Alta California) ranched on various land grants. The area that now includes Lemon Grove was granted to Santiago Argüello, who received more than 59,000 acres.
The first proprietor of Lemon Grove, Robert Allison, arrived in the region in 1850, coming from Sacramento. He purchased thousands of acres from Santiago Argüello's heirs; this land eventually became Lemon Grove, La Mesa, Encanto, and part of Spring Valley. Allison became a director and stockholder of the San Diego and Cuyamaca Railroad in 1886, and built the Allison Flume. Allison's son Joseph filed subdivision maps for "Lemon Grove" in 1892. The name is attributed to Joseph's mother, Tempa Waterman Allison. The climate was suitable for the cultivation of subtropical fruits and vegetables, and farmers from the East and Midwest flocked to the region. The Lemon Grove Fruit Growers Association was formed in 1893; in 1894, the San Diego Union newspaper referred to Lemon Grove as "a sea of lemon trees."
Joseph and Anton Sonka, immigrants from Bohemia, moved to Lemon Grove after stints in Seguin, Texas, and San Diego. The brothers opened a well-known general store, A. Sonka and Son. Anthony "Tony" F. Sonka, the eldest son of Anton Sonka and his German American wife Anna Klein Sonka, was also a local notable. He was a key supporter of the huge lemon that became the town's symbol and landmark. Sonka and a committee of local ranchers hired local architect Alberto Treganza to build the huge lemon to "make the ultimate statement about the town's purpose, prosperity, and optimism."
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Lemon Grove CA
Deciding on the best physical therapist school is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize 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 proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Lemon Grove CA.
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