How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Aledo 61231
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Aledo IL is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Aledo IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Aledo IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Aledo IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer available in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Aledo IL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Aledo IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call a few Aledo IL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Aledo IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Aledo IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain practical 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 relationships in the Aledo health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Aledo IL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Aledo IL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Aledo Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Aledo IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Aledo /ʌˈliːdoʊ/ (u-LEE-doh) is a city in Mercer County, Illinois, United States. The population was 3,640 at the 2010 census, up from 3,613 in 2000. It is the county seat of Mercer County.
According to the 2010 census, Aledo has a total area of 2.392 square miles (6.20 km2), of which 2.38 square miles (6.16 km2) (or 99.5%) is land and 0.012 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.5%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,640 people, 1,568 households, and 947 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 98.5% (3,586) white; 0.6% (22) African American; 0.0% (1) Native American; 0.3% (12) Asian; 0.1% (4) from other races; and 0.4% (15) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% (45) of the population.
Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Aledo IL
Picking the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing 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 best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Aledo IL.
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