How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist College near Altamont 62411
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Altamont IL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to ensure they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Altamont IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Altamont IL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Altamont IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates 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 becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and usually include 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Altamont IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs 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 option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Altamont IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Altamont IL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Altamont IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have relationships with Altamont IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Altamont healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Altamont IL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Altamont IL area, make sure 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 need 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 Altamont Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Altamont IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Legend says Griffin Tipsword came to live with the Kickapoo Indians, who were indifferent to the coming of a white man. Tipsword was white by birth and Indian by adoption. He was a pioneer, a missionary preacher, hunter and medicine man among the Indians. Tipsword's family name was Sowards. He called himself Tipsword after coming to Illinois. Tipsword was a veteran of the Revolutionary War, first fighting at Ramsour's Mill in the Carolinas. Griffin died in 1845 and was buried on the banks of Wolff Creek (Tipsword family cemetery, Effingham), leaving three sons, John, Isaac, and Thomas, who left many descendants in the area.
Altamont, the "City of Plain", was laid out in Mound Township, considered the richest and best township in Effingham County - being mostly prairies and farm ground - slightly rolling along Big Creek, Coon Creek, and Second Creek. Mound Township was settled early by German immigrants from the Rhine by way of Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The name "Altamont", like "Mound Township", was bestowed by J.W. Conlogue because of the elevation or "mound" to the northwest. The first part of the word means altitude, the second mount or mound. Conlogue was a romantic, naming his town from Latin.
Pick the Best Physical Therapist School near Altamont IL
Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Altamont IL.
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