Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Clarendon Hills IL

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Clarendon Hills 60514

Clarendon Hills IL physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Clarendon Hills IL is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Clarendon Hills IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Clarendon Hills IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Clarendon Hills IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Clarendon Hills IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students 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 emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Clarendon Hills IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be 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 colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several 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 practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clarendon Hills ILWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated 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 curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clarendon Hills IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Clarendon Hills IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, starting 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 also. Call some Clarendon Hills IL physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer 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 submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Clarendon Hills IL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study 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 differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Clarendon Hills IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Clarendon Hills healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Clarendon Hills IL residence. Students who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to bear 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form 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 aid is obtainable. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Clarendon Hills IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clarendon Hills Illinois?

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

Clarendon Hills, Illinois

According to the 2010 census, Clarendon Hills has a total area of 1.81 square miles (4.69 km2), of which 1.8 square miles (4.66 km2) (or 99.45%) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.55%) is water.[5]

As of the census of 2006, there were 8,572 people, 2,836 households, and 2,056 families residing in the village. The population density was 4,377.1 people per square mile (1,688.6/km²). There were 2,939 housing units at an average density of 1,690.4 per square mile (652.2/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 94.07% White, 0.84% African American, 0.01% Native American, 3.52% Asian, 0.42% from other races, and 1.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.37% of the population.[7]

There were 2,836 households out of which 40.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.2% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.21.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Clarendon Hills IL

Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program 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 field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Clarendon Hills IL.

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