How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Chicago Heights 60411
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Chicago Heights IL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally 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 essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, 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 a variety of settings, including Chicago Heights IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Chicago Heights IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable 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. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Chicago Heights IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be 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 equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Chicago Heights IL residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Chicago Heights IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 can also receive 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 simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call some Chicago Heights IL physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Chicago Heights IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. 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 differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are interested in have associations with Chicago Heights IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Chicago Heights medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Chicago Heights IL home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or even 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 often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Chicago Heights IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out 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 Chicago Heights Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Chicago Heights IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Chicago Heights, Illinois
Chicago Heights is a city in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 30,276 at the 2010 census. In earlier years, Chicago Heights was nicknamed "The Crossroads of the Nation". Currently, it is nicknamed "The Heights".
According to the 2010 census, Chicago Heights has a total area of 10.083 square miles (26.11 km2), of which 10.07 square miles (26.08 km2) (or 99.87%) is land and 0.013 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.13%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,276 people, 9,587 households, and 7,077 families in the city. The population density was 3,003.6 people per square mile (1,160.0/km²). There were 11,060 housing units at an average density of 1,097.2 per square mile (423.8/km²). The racial makeup was 38.0% White, 41.5% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 16.6% some other race, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.9% of the population.
Select the Best Physical Therapy School near Chicago Heights IL
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many factors will guide you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Chicago Heights IL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 409