How to Choose the Right Physical Therapy School near San Antonio Florida
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near San Antonio FL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including San Antonio FL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks
- Sports injuries
- Burn injuries
- Knee Replacement
- Multiple Sclerosis
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other San Antonio FL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the San Antonio FL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist 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 essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as common as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s San Antonio FL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar 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 option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the San Antonio FL area and across Florida, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several San Antonio FL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Florida Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the San Antonio FL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Florida 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 therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with San Antonio FL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the San Antonio medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their San Antonio FL home. Individuals who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the San Antonio FL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Enrolling in a Physical Therapy Program near San Antonio Florida?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the San Antonio FL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future campus.
San Antonio, Florida
San Antonio, or unofficially San Ann as the locals call it, is a city in Pasco County, Florida, United States. It is a suburban city included in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. It lies within Florida's 5th congressional district. The population was 1,138 at the 2010 census. It was established as a Catholic colony by Judge Edmund F. Dunne. The city derives its name from Saint Anthony of Padua.Saint Leo University is located nearby.
San Antonio was founded (in name only) in 1881 by Edmund F. Dunne who previously had been chief justice of the Arizona territory. Dunne was a legal counsel involved in the Disston Land Purchase, and as his commission, received 100,000 choice acres (400 km2) of land out of the 4,000,000 acre (16,000 km²) purchase. The following year on February 15, while surveying the Disston Purchase with his cousin, Captain Hugh Dunne, he came upon a previously unsurveyed lake with crystal clear water. Seeing in a prayer book that it was the feast day of St. Jovita, he named the lake after the early Christian martyr. Judge Dunne selected the city's location on Jovita's western shore and began settling it in earnest. He established the city as the center of a Catholic colony in Florida. Dunne planned several other villages for the surrounding area including St. Thomas, Villa Maria, Carmel and San Felipe, but only the rural community of St. Joseph survives today. In 1889 the Benedictines established the monastery of St. Leo and St. Leo College on Dunne's former homestead and farm land, later incorporating the area as part of a separate town, St. Leo, Florida. At about the same time, five Benedictine sisters established Holy Name Convent in the center of San Antonio. The nuns had come to teach at two local schools (St. Anthony School and St. Joseph School), as well as to establish Holy Name Academy. The sisters had the convent and the academy physically moved by oxen to a 40-acre parcel in St. Leo overlooking the southwestern shore of Lake Jovita in 1911. The nuns remained at St. Anthony School until the end of the 2009-10 academic year. At the time of its founding San Antonio was located in the southern third of Hernando County, as Pasco County was not created until 1887. The Orange Belt Railway first began service to San Antonio in November 1887. For a short time beginning in 1927, the city officially changed its name to the town of Lake Jovita, only to revert to San Antonio in 1933.
As of the census of 2000, there were 655 people, 270 households, and 180 families residing in the village. The population density was 532.2 inhabitants per square mile (205.6/km²). There were 286 housing units at an average density of 232.4 per square mile (89.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.25% White, 1.07% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.41% of the population.
Masters Degree In Physical Therapy San Antonio FL
Picking the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. You originally come to this website because of your interest in getting information on Masters Degree In Physical Therapy. However, as you begin your search for a physical therapist school bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in San Antonio FL.
Additional Therapeutic Locations in Florida
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