Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in California
If you are looking at a career in physical therapy, there are many physical therapy assistant schools in California to choose from. The state is home to numerous schools catering to undergraduate as well as graduate programs, but be sure to find one that is accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association’s Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
Although the courses will provide you with the training and academic background to become a physical therapy assistant, you can also use some of the same schooling as a stepping stone to becoming a full-on physical therapist. It is best, however, to choose which path you wish to pursue before getting too far along in your education.
Careers as a physical therapy assistant in California
The demand for physical therapy assistants is steadily increasing and there are many prospective employers in California and throughout the entire country. The place of work for PT assistants is often in hospitals as well as private clinics of physical therapy health practitioners.
Patients of physical therapy assistants are usually those who have gotten into debilitating conditions as a result of an accident, heart disease, or stroke. Patients also include those who suffer from arthritis, back pain, head injuries, fractures, and cerebral palsy.
Physical therapy assistants provide support to Physical Therapists, helping them in the treatment of patients. Treatment procedures are extensive in range and they ultimately have the goal of improving the patient’s overall mobility, relieving them of pain, lessening their physical disability, and helping them prevent any future disabilities. Physical therapy assistants may also help patients stretch and exercise on a regular basis to strengthen problematic muscles and joints. They may also educate patients on the proper usage of crutches as well as preparing therapy equipment for use.
PT assistants work under the supervision of a licensed Physical Therapist and also provide other services such as engaging the patient in therapeutic treatments which include mechanical traction, ultrasound, massage, electrical stimulation, balance training, and more. They are also responsible for creating and keeping records of the patient’s progress and response to treatment, which they then report to the Physical Therapist.
Physical Therapy Assistant Education Requirements
Physical therapy assistant schools in California offer Associate Degrees from various accredited programs because most states require an associate degree by law before one can go into practice. They can also provide more information on licensing for students once they have graduated. The Associate Degrees are offered in community colleges, 4 –year colleges, technical colleges and universities.
Physical therapy assistant schools in California usually have programs which take 2 years to complete, resulting in an Associate Degree. The American Physical Therapy Association’s Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education also accredits physical therapy assistant programs.
Physical therapy assistant schools in California offer both coursework and hands-on clinical experience which are equally important in advancing one’s career. The academic curriculum contains classes in English, anatomy, algebra, physiology, and psychology. Clinical work provides aspiring physical therapy assistants with a certificate in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid, as well as experience in various treatment centers. To be a successful physical therapy assistant, students should receive adequate clinical experience so that students understand how their responsibilities play out in the real world.
Physical therapy assistants are required to have certification, registration, or licensure. Once they have completed their Associate Degree, they are required to pass the National Physical Therapy Exam. In order to keep their license, individuals who want to advance their career as a physical therapy assistant should also receive continuing education credits.
Prerequisites for Physical Therapy Assistant Students
A high school diploma or GED is the basic requirement to enter a certificate program or Associate Degree program at technical or community colleges. For those who opt to take their course in a vocational school, they generally only require a high school degree, with an average grade of “C” in math and science.
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in California
There are six accredited schools in California for those who want to obtain a physical therapy assistant degree:
11110 Alondra Boulevard
Norwalk, CA 90650
Telephone: (562) 860-2451
Concorde Career College
12412 Victory Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Telephone: (818) 766-1587
Loma Linda University
24951 North Circle Drive
Loma Linda, CA 92350
Telephone: (909) 558-4634
Ohlone College Newark Center for Health Sciences and Technology
39399 Cherry Street
Newark, CA 94560
Telephone: (510) 742-3105
Sacramento City College
3835 Freeport Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95822
Telephone: (916) 558-2298
San Diego Mesa College
7250 Mesa College Drive
San Diego, CA 92111
Telephone: (619) 388-2839
Physical Therapy Assistant Schools in California That Offer Graduate Programs
Azusa Pacific University
901 East Alosta Avenue
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
California State University Fresno
2345 East San Ramon Avenue
Fresno, CA 93740-8031
California State University Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
Long Beach, CA 90840
California State University Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8411
For more information about any of these physical therapy assistant schools in California, please feel free to contact the schools directly.