Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Baileyville IL

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist School near Baileyville 61007

Baileyville IL physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Baileyville IL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of 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 education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose 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 considered besides cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Baileyville IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Baileyville IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Baileyville IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Baileyville IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Baileyville IL area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Baileyville ILAlthough not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Baileyville IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Baileyville IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Baileyville IL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Baileyville IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Baileyville IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Baileyville healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large 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 likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at 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 talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Baileyville IL residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Baileyville IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Baileyville Illinois?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Baileyville IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

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Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Baileyville IL

Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Baileyville IL.

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