How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Athens 62613
Earning a physical therapy degree near Athens IL is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Athens IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Athens IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Athens IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 three years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely 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 available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Athens IL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Athens IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering 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 enroll in an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Athens IL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program 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 schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 Athens IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in provides both excellent 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Athens IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Athens health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within travelling distance of their Athens IL residence. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Athens IL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Athens Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Athens IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Athens /ˈeɪθənz/ AY-thənz is a city in Menard County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,726 at the 2000 census, and 1,778 at a 2009 estimate. It is part of the Springfield, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,726 people, 695 households, and 462 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,175.4 people per square mile (453.3/km²). There were 740 housing units at an average density of 504.0 per square mile (194.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.26% White, 0.41% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.46% from other races, and 0.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.27% of the population.
There were 695 households out of which 37.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.1% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.10.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Athens IL
Selecting the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Athens IL.
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