How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Apple River 61001
Earning a physical therapy degree near Apple River IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are looking at to make sure they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Apple River IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share 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 frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Apple River IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Apple River IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more 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 course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Apple River IL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, 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 spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Apple River IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Apple River IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Apple River 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 excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Apple River IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Apple River medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Apple River IL home. Students 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. One thing to bear 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 might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Apple River IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to carry. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Apple River Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Apple River IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Apple River, Illinois
As of the census of 2000, there were 379 people, 159 households, and 102 families residing in the village. The population density was 479.6 people per square mile (185.2/km²). There were 187 housing units at an average density of 236.6 per square mile (91.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.94% White, 0.79% African American, and 0.26% from two or more races.
There were 159 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.9% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.93.
In the village, the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.3 males.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Apple River IL
Picking the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Apple River IL.
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