Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Burlington IL

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Burlington 60109

Burlington IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Burlington IL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn 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 ensure they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important 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 address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Burlington IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Burlington IL private practices, hospitals, 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 individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Burlington IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Burlington IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate 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 prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Burlington IL area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Burlington ILAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Burlington IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Burlington IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Burlington IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Burlington IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Burlington IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to get hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Burlington medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Burlington IL residence. 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 local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Burlington IL area, verify that they are offered. 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 have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Burlington Illinois?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Burlington IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Burlington, Illinois

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 452 people, 171 households, and 127 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,277.2 people per square mile (498.6/km²). There were 174 housing units at an average density of 491.6 per square mile (191.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 96.90% White, 1.33% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 1.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.66% of the population.

There were 171 households out of which 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.7% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the village, the population was spread out with 29.0% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 31.2% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.5 males.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Burlington IL

Selecting the best physical therapy school is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Burlington IL.

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