How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Brookfield 60513
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Brookfield IL is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school just 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 in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Brookfield IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Brookfield IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Brookfield IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior 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 designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 overall commitment 7 years in the majority of 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 some states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced 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 present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the more traditional 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, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Brookfield IL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Brookfield IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have earned 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. 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 search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Brookfield IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of 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 Brookfield IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a course of study 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Brookfield IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Brookfield health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Brookfield IL residence. Those 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 school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Help Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Brookfield IL area, verify that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Brookfield Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Brookfield IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Brookfield (formerly Grossdale) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located 13 miles (21 km) west of downtown Chicago. Its population was 18,978 at the 2010 census. The city is home to the Brookfield Zoo.
According to the 2010 census, Brookfield has a total area of 3.067 square miles (7.94 km2), of which 3.06 square miles (7.93 km2) (or 99.77%) is land and 0.007 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.23%) is water.
Most of Brookfield is flat land with various small hills and rises. Along Salt Creek is a steep ravine that is home to many oak savannas. These oak savannas are the primary ecosystem of Brookfield, and sprawl out from large, forested areas into small pockets in the village.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Brookfield IL
Deciding on the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Brookfield IL.
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