Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Colchester IL

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Colchester 62326

Colchester IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Colchester IL is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Colchester IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, including Colchester IL hospitals, health clinics, 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 previously stated, physical therapists help people that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Colchester IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Colchester IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Colchester IL area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance 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 typically take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Colchester ILAlthough not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of 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 incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Colchester IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have made a decision concerning some of your initial queries, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Colchester IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier 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 enroll in an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call a few Colchester IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Colchester IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both superior 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 needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Colchester IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Colchester healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical teacher to student 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 students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Colchester IL residence. Individuals who have opted 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 concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of assistance is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Colchester IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Colchester Illinois?

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

Colchester, Illinois

According to the North American Stratigraphic Code, rock units were given names that included the geographic name of a location where the rock unit was first described. If the rock unit consisted of a dominant rock type, the rock type was included in the name. In this case, when coal was first discovered and described in Colchester, Illinois, the rock unit was named "Colchester Coal". When this particular coal unit was encountered in a different location, the coal was correctly identified as Colchester Coal.[6]

The mines in Colchester attracted immigrants from Pennsylvania. At first these included the descendants of Irish Protestant refugees from the Irish Rebellion of 1798. Later they were joined by Irish Catholic refugees from the Irish Potato Famine.

During the 1920s, Colchester was the home of Henry "Kelly" Wagle, a bootlegger associated with Al Capone. Wagle was involved in the production of alcohol and its transportation between Chicago and Kansas City.[5]

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Colchester IL

Picking the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve 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 right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Colchester IL.

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