How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Blue Mound 62513
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Blue Mound IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with 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?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, such as Blue Mound IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent 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
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Blue Mound IL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Blue Mound IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Blue Mound IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Blue Mound IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning 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 agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Blue Mound IL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Blue Mound IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose 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 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. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have relationships with Blue Mound IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Blue Mound healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Blue Mound IL home. Students who have decided 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Blue Mound IL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Blue Mound Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Blue Mound IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Blue Mound, Illinois
Blue Mound is a village in Macon County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,129 at the 2000 census, and 1,017 at a 2009 estimate. It is included in the Decatur, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
One and a half miles north west of the village is located a glacial kame, a cone-shaped gravel hill rising 80 feet above the surrounding farm land. Surrounded by the Griswold Conservation Area, park and camping place, the mound is estimated to date from about 130,000 years ago in geologic time from melting of glacier ice. It is one of a group of glacial mounds in the Blue Mound area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,129 people, 459 households, and 329 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,898.9 people per square mile (738.8/km²). There were 483 housing units at an average density of 812.4 per square mile (316.1/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.65% White, 0.18% Native American, 0.09% from other races, and 0.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.27% of the population.
Enroll in the Right Physical Therapist School near Blue Mound IL
Picking the best physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are other important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current 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 additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Blue Mound IL.
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