How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Bolingbrook 60440
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Bolingbrook IL is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Bolingbrook 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 previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Bolingbrook IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, 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 Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Bolingbrook IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify 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 typically a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 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 seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some 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. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Colleges
While not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bolingbrook IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Bolingbrook IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 important that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with several Bolingbrook IL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Bolingbrook IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapist schools you are reviewing have associations with Bolingbrook IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Bolingbrook medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Bolingbrook IL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bolingbrook IL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bolingbrook Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bolingbrook IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The village of Bolingbrook is a southwest suburb of Chicago that is partially in both Will and DuPage counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2017 US Census, the population is 75,201. It is the 17th largest incorporated place in Illinois and the state's 2nd largest village.
According to the 2010 census Bolingbrook has a total area of 24.257 square miles (62.83 km2), of which 24.05 square miles (62.29 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 0.207 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 0.85%) is water.
Interstate 55, locally the Stevenson Expressway, runs through the southern part of the village heading northeast toward Chicago and southwest toward Plainfield and Joliet. Interstate 355, also known as the Veterans Memorial Tollway (formerly the North-South Tollway), runs along the far east side of the village between New Lenox and Addison. Illinois Route 53, locally known as Bolingbrook Drive, runs north–south through the middle of the village.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist School near Bolingbrook IL
Picking the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Bolingbrook IL.
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