How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Bethalto 62010
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Bethalto IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Bethalto IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Bethalto IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Bethalto IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While 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 normally take four years to finish and commonly include 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 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 total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bethalto IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you probably have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like 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 because there are numerous PT colleges within the Bethalto IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Bethalto IL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bethalto IL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Bethalto IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Bethalto medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized 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 prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Bethalto IL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Bethalto IL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. 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 Bethalto Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bethalto IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bethalto is a village located in Madison County, Illinois, United States. Bethalto, like the rest of Madison County, is part of the Illinois Metro East portion of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The population of Bethalto was 9,521 at the 2010 census.
According to the 2010 census, Bethalto has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.68 km2), of which 7.52 square miles (19.48 km2) (or 98.95%) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km2) (or 1.05%) is water.
Bethalto was founded in 1834, incorporated April 19, 1869, under a special charter and again in 1873 under the State of Illinois' general law. It is governed by a Village President and six trustees elected at large.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Bethalto IL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Bethalto IL.
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