How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Bourbonnais 60914
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Bourbonnais IL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss 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 Bourbonnais IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Bourbonnais IL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Bourbonnais IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined 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 curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bourbonnais IL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Bourbonnais IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you enroll in the program that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As earlier 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 select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Bourbonnais IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bourbonnais IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have associations with Bourbonnais IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Bourbonnais health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching 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 ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within travelling distance of their Bourbonnais IL home. Individuals who have opted to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Aid Provided? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bourbonnais IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option 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 might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bourbonnais Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bourbonnais IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bourbonnais (pronounced /bʊərboʊˈneɪ/ or /bɜːrˈboʊnɪs/) is a village in Kankakee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,256 in the 2000 census, but had grown to 18,631 in the 2010 census. It is part of the Kankakee-Bourbonnais-Bradley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The village is named after François Bourbonnais, Sr., a fur trapper, hunter and agent of the American Fur Company, who had married a Native American woman and arrived in the area near the fork of two major Indian trails and the Kankakee River circa 1830.John Jacob Astor had founded the company in 1808, and when the United States banned foreign (i.e. British and Canadian companies such as the Hudson's Bay Company) from competing in the country after the War of 1812, it grew. By 1830, it had a near monopoly of fur trading in the midwest, but the number of local trappable wild animals had declined.
In 1832, Noel Le Vasseur arrived as the Astor firm local fur trading agent, establishing a trading post in the area, and becoming the first permanent non-Native American settler. He married Watseka, niece of a Potawatomi chieftain, and after the Potawatomi were relocated to Iowa, recruited French-Canadiens to settle around his store. The Potawatomi were forced to move westward by a series of treaties culminating in the Treaty of Tippecanoe, which Congress ratified in 1833. The treaty reserved two sections for Potawanomi chief Me-she-ke-te-no, and one section each for Catish (Mrs. Bourbonnais, Sr.) and Manteno (daughter of Francois Bourbonnais, Jr.). LeVasseur received considerable land through a series of shrewd trades, and eventually divorced Watseka and married a Canadian woman named Ruth. After establishment of the new Catholic diocese of Chicago missionary Fr. Stephen Badin briefly settled in Bourbonnais Grove in 1846, before retiring further south.
Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Bourbonnais IL
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Bourbonnais IL.
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