How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Annapolis 62413
Getting a physical therapist degree near Annapolis IL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are considering to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Annapolis 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 touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Annapolis IL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Annapolis IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 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 before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist 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 near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Annapolis IL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Annapolis IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Annapolis IL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Annapolis IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Annapolis IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Annapolis health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some 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 pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Annapolis IL home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Annapolis IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Annapolis Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Annapolis IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Music of Annapolis
In the 1710s in the colonial United States, a number of singing schools arose, beginning in New England and spreading into Maryland by 1764, beginning in Annapolis. These singing schools met in the evenings, with a singing master leading the education of both youth and adults in the basics of musical performance, including note-reading and part-singing, and the particulars of Christian hymns. Most singing masters were educated only in other singing schools, and not in any sort of formal music education. Many singing masters were itinerant travelers.
Though Annapolis was the first town in Maryland to be home to a singing school, they became common, first in Baltimore and then throughout the state, after the Revolutionary War. The first was at St. Anne's Anglican Church in Annapolis, in 1764, led by singing master Phillip Williams, who taught psalmody in four parts. Though Williams, being itinerant, left Annapolis after only one year, he was replaced by a new singing master, Hugh Maguire, the following year.
After the Revolutionary War, singing school activities began diminishing throughout Maryland, including Annapolis. The only noted singing master during this time was Alexander Gray, in 1786, and possibly for some time thereafter.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Annapolis IL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Annapolis IL.
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