How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Livingston 95334
Getting a physical therapy degree near Livingston CA is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. 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 is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Livingston CA hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Livingston CA medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, 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 getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, 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 offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Livingston CA area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Livingston CA home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Livingston CA area and throughout California, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school 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. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Livingston CA physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Livingston CA area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Livingston CA clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Livingston health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist 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 speak with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Livingston CA residence. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out 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 getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Livingston CA area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Livingston California?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Livingston CA area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Livingston is a city in Merced County, California. Livingston is located 7 miles (11 km) west-northwest of Atwater, at an elevation of 131 feet (40 m). According to the 2010 census, the city population was 13,058, up from 10,473 at the 2000 census. Livingston's total area is 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2), including undeveloped farmland annexed in anticipation of future growth.
Livingston is located at 37°23′13″N 120°43′25″W / 37.38694°N 120.72361°W / 37.38694; -120.72361. It lies slightly uphill from where the Southern Pacific Railroad crosses the Merced River. Highway 99 follows the Southern Pacific through the city.
The Livingston post office opened in 1873, closed in 1882, and re-opened in 1883. The town was named for Dr. David Livingstone, a British explorer of Africa who was an international celebrity in the late 1800s. An error on the town’s Post Office application resulted in the difference in spelling between his name and the town’s.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Livingston CA
Choosing the best physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Livingston CA.
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