How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Bedford Park 60499
Earning a physical therapy degree near Bedford Park IL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, 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 essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, including Bedford Park IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Bedford Park IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely 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 degrees offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Bedford Park IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 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 completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bedford Park IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Bedford Park IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As previously mentioned, 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Bedford Park IL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bedford Park IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Bedford Park IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Bedford Park medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Bedford Park IL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bedford Park IL area, check that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bedford Park Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bedford Park IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bedford Park, Illinois
Bedford Park is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 580 at the 2010 census. Bedford Park consists of a small residential area and vast amounts of heavy industry sprawling to the east and a small amount to the west. A large FedEx Ground facility is located in Bedford Park at 6833 West 75th Street.
According to the 2010 census, Bedford Park has a total area of 6.036 square miles (15.63 km2), of which 5.93 square miles (15.36 km2) (or 98.24%) is land and 0.106 square miles (0.27 km2) (or 1.76%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 574 people, 211 households, and 160 families residing in the village. The population density was 96.2 people per square mile (37.1/km²). There were 218 housing units at an average density of 36.5 per square mile (14.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 96.86% White, 1.05% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.17% from other races, and 1.22% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.62% of the population.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Bedford Park IL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Bedford Park IL.
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