How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Carol Stream 60116
Earning a physical therapy degree near Carol Stream IL is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate training and education. 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 enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select 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 must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, including Carol Stream IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Carol Stream IL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Carol Stream IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Carol Stream IL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Carol Stream IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 enroll in 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 choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact some Carol Stream IL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Carol Stream IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have relationships with Carol Stream IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships 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 supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Carol Stream health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Carol Stream IL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide 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 typically 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 Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Carol Stream IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, 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 obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Carol Stream Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Carol Stream IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Carol Stream, Illinois
Carol Stream is a village in DuPage County, Illinois, United States. Incorporated on January 5, 1959, and named after the developer's daughter, Carol Stream had a population of 39,711 as of the 2010 United States Census. In 2011 CNN's Money Magazine ranked Carol Stream 49th on its list of 100 best places to live in the United States.
In 1853, St. John Wahlund Catholic Church was built in Gretna. The church was closed in 1867. When St. Michael Church was opened in Wheaton in 1872, the St. Stephen parishioners were transferred to that parish. The church building was dismantled sometime in the late 19th century. St. Stephen Cemetery was located adjacent to the church building. It was last used for burial in 1910. The St. Stephen Cemetery (located north of the Great Western Trail behind Meyer Material Company on St. Charles Road) was rededicated 100 years later on September 12, 2010.
A common misconception is that the municipality of Carol Stream was named for a local minor waterway. In fact, Carol Stream is one of the few communities in America that took its name from the first and last names of a living person: Carol Stream, the daughter of its founder Jay Stream.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Carol Stream IL
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Carol Stream IL.
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