How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Ashton 61006
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Ashton IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Ashton IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Ashton IL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable 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 brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Ashton IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor 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 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Ashton IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Ashton IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 choose an online program, 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 just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with requesting 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. Contact a few Ashton IL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It might 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 colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest 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 assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Ashton IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have partnerships with Ashton IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Ashton healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Ashton IL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes 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 choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Ashton IL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Ashton Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Ashton IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Ashton is located at 41°52′00″N 89°13′19″W / 41.866545°N 89.221923°W / 41.866545; -89.221923Coordinates: 41°52′00″N 89°13′19″W / 41.866545°N 89.221923°W / 41.866545; -89.221923.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,142 people, 437 households, and 312 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,727.6 people per square mile (668.1/km²). There were 468 housing units at an average density of 708.0 per square mile (273.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.99% White, 1.05% African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.35% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.36% of the population.
There were 423 households out of which 35.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.2% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 23.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 2.98.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Ashton IL
Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Ashton IL.
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