How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Cicero 60804
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Cicero IL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are thinking about to make sure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. 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 what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Cicero IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, 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 resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Cicero IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under 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 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 Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Cicero IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to progress 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 becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more 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 school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Cicero IL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Cicero IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make certain that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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. Contact some Cicero IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college options. It may 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 should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cicero IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have associations with Cicero IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional connections in the Cicero medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Cicero IL residence. Those who have chosen 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 school that is out of state or even 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 typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Cicero IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. 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 Cicero Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cicero IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Cicero (originally known as Hawthorne) is a suburb of Chicago and an incorporated town in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 83,891 at the 2010 census. As of 2013, the town had a total population of 84,103, making it the 11th largest municipality in Illinois. Cicero is named for the town of Cicero, New York, which in turn was named for Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman and orator.
Originally, Cicero Township occupied six times its current territory. Weak political leadership and town services resulted in cities such as Oak Park and Berwyn voting to split off from Cicero, and other portions such as Austin were annexed into the city of Chicago.
By 1911, an aerodrome called the Cicero Flying Field had been established as the town's first aircraft facility of any type, located on a roughly square plot of land about 800 meters (1/2-mile) per side, on then-open ground at 41°51′19.03″N 87°44′56.5″W / 41.8552861°N 87.749028°W / 41.8552861; -87.749028 by the Aero Club of Illinois, founded on February 10, 1910. Famous pilots like Hans-Joachim Buddecke, Lincoln Beachey, Chance M. Vought and others flew from there at various times during the "pioneer era" of aviation in the United States shortly before the nation's involvement in World War I, before the field closed in mid-April 1916.
Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Cicero IL
Picking the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school 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 might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Cicero IL.
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