How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Algonquin 60102
Earning a physical therapy degree near Algonquin IL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to make sure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Algonquin IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Algonquin IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Algonquin IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
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 even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Algonquin IL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Algonquin IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Algonquin IL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Algonquin IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Illinois 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 school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Algonquin IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Algonquin medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Algonquin IL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes 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 keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Algonquin IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Algonquin Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Algonquin IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Algonquin is a village in Illinois located in both McHenry and Kane counties. It is a northwest suburb of Chicago, located approximately 40 miles from the Loop. The 2010 Census placed the Village's population at 30,046, growing considerably from the 2000 Census figure of 23,276.
The village is known as "The Gem of the Fox River Valley", since its downtown is nestled in the heart of Illinois' Fox River Valley. Established in 1890 and long known as a small river community, the village is making the transition into a major regional hub, as it has experienced considerable suburban growth over the past 20 years. Now stretching all the way west to the busy Randall Road corridor, Algonquin has become a major commercial center, with popular shopping centers and restaurants, as well as a growing corporate campus. Additionally, the village continues to see considerable residential growth. With this growth, the village has had to deal with challenges including traffic congestion and overburdened schools, yet has managed to increase the commercial tax base, preserve its character and history, and substantially increase its recreational offerings and quality of life.
According to the 2010 census, Algonquin has a total area of 12.41 square miles (32.14 km2), of which 12.23 square miles (31.68 km2) (or 98.55%) is land and 0.18 square miles (0.47 km2) (or 1.45%) is water. The majority of Algonquin is approximately 2/3 in McHenry County, with approximately 1/3 in Kane County.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Algonquin IL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve 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 field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Algonquin IL.
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