How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Bensenville 60105
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Bensenville IL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled 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 need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Bensenville IL hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Bensenville IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Bensenville IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become 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 qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bensenville IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Bensenville IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’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 as well. Call some Bensenville IL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. 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 Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bensenville IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both exceptional 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Bensenville IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Bensenville health care community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Bensenville IL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Bensenville IL area, check that they are available. 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 enroll in. Also, find out 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 Bensenville Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bensenville IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
First known as Tioga, it was formally established as Bensenville in 1873 along the Milwaukee Road railway. The community is named after Benzen, Germany. A post office was established in 1873, but because there was an existing "Benson", the suffix "ville" was added.
According to the 2010 census, Bensenville has a total area of 5.618 square miles (14.55 km2), of which 5.57 square miles (14.43 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 0.048 square miles (0.12 km2) (or 0.85%) is water.
As of the census  of 2010, there were 18,352 people residing in the village. The population density was 3,296.6 people per square mile (5,305.3/km²). There were 6,743 housing units. The racial makeup of the village was 67.3% White, 3.5% African American, 1.0% Native American, 4.8% Asian, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 47.8% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Bensenville IL
Selecting the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Bensenville IL.
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