How to Select a Physical Therapy Program near Collinsville 62234
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Collinsville IL is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Collinsville IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Collinsville IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Collinsville IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of 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 current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Collinsville IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Collinsville IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Collinsville IL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It might 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Collinsville IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you choose provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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 college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Collinsville IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Collinsville medical community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Collinsville IL residence. Students who have opted 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 bear 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Collinsville IL area, verify 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Collinsville Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Collinsville IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Collinsville is a city located mainly in Madison County, and partially in St. Clair County, both in Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 25,579, an increase from 24,707 in 2000. Collinsville is approximately 12 miles from St. Louis, Missouri and is considered part of that city's Metro-East area. It is the home of the Brooks Catsup Bottle Water Tower, the world's largest ketchup bottle, and is the world's horseradish capital.Monks Mound, the largest man-made earthwork in North America, and now part of the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, is located here.
According to the 2010 census, Collinsville has a total area of 14.874 square miles (38.52 km2), of which 14.68 square miles (38.02 km2) (or 98.7%) is land and 0.194 square miles (0.50 km2) (or 1.3%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 25,579 people, 10,458 households, and 6,672 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,817.4 people per square mile (701.9/km²). There were 11,025 housing units at an average density of 811.0 per square mile (313.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 87.4% White, 11.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, and 1.7% from other races (according to the "race alone of in combination" section of the Census Summary File 1).
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Collinsville IL
Picking the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize 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 best choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Collinsville IL.
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