How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Clay City 62824
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Clay City IL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper 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 choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Clay City IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Clay City IL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Clay City IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 complete, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clay City IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Clay City IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree 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 imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check 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 as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact a few Clay City IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Clay City IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Clay City IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students develop professional connections in the Clay City healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Clay City IL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clay City IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, 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 might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clay City Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Clay City IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Clay City, Illinois
Clay City is located in southeastern Clay County at 38°41′13″N 88°21′11″W / 38.68694°N 88.35306°W / 38.68694; -88.35306 (38.686883, -88.353121), about 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of the Little Wabash River. U.S. Route 50 passes through the southern side of the village, leading west 7 miles (11 km) to Flora and east 15 miles (24 km) to Olney. Louisville, the Clay County seat, is 14 miles (23 km) to the northwest.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,000 people, 436 households, and 262 families residing in the village. The population density was 561.0 people per square mile (216.9/km²). There were 486 housing units at an average density of 272.7 per square mile (105.4/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 99.40% White, 0.20% Native American, 0.10% Asian, and 0.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.40% of the population.
There were 436 households out of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.9% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.98.
Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Clay City IL
Picking the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Clay City IL.
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