How to Choose a Physical Therapy College near Creve Coeur 61610
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Creve Coeur IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make sure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including Creve Coeur IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Creve Coeur IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Creve Coeur IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 usually made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 finish, making the overall commitment 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not just 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Creve Coeur IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Creve Coeur IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to make certain that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, 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 school, it can also earn 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, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Creve Coeur IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college options. It might also be a good idea 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 Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Creve Coeur IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Creve Coeur IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Creve Coeur healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller 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 classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Creve Coeur IL home. Those who have decided 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. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Creve Coeur IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. 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 Creve Coeur Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Creve Coeur IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Creve Coeur, Illinois
Creve Coeur is a village in Groveland Township, Tazewell County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 5,448. Creve Coeur is a suburb of Peoria and is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the 2010 census, Creve Coeur has a total area of 4.675 square miles (12.11 km2), of which 4.31 square miles (11.16 km2) (or 92.19%) is land and 0.365 square miles (0.95 km2) (or 7.81%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,448 people, 2,219 households, and 1,488 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,342.2 people per square mile (518.1/km²). There were 2,476 housing units at an average density of 610.0 per square mile (235.5/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 97.14% White, 0.39% African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.81% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.95% of the population.
Select the Best Physical Therapy College near Creve Coeur IL
Picking the best physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Creve Coeur IL.
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