How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Crystal Lake 60012
Getting a physical therapy degree near Crystal Lake IL is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we talk about 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Crystal Lake IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped 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 due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Crystal Lake IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Crystal Lake IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Crystal Lake IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Crystal Lake IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make certain that you pick the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can investigate 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 also. Call a few Crystal Lake IL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your college options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the Program’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 considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Crystal Lake IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have associations with Crystal Lake IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Crystal Lake health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. 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 lot of students, the physical therapy college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Crystal Lake IL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online 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 keep 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are examining have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Crystal Lake IL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Crystal Lake Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Crystal Lake IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Crystal Lake is a city in McHenry County in the U.S. state of Illinois. Named after a lake 1.6 miles (2.6 km) southwest of the city's downtown, Crystal Lake is 45 miles northwest of Chicago. The population was 40,743 in 2010. Crystal Lake is the largest city in McHenry County, part of the Chicago metropolitan area.
The City of Crystal Lake traces its origin to two separate communities which were established in the 1800s. Those communities were generally known as Nunda and Crystal Lake. In 1835, Ziba S. Beardsley had come to the shores of the lake and commented that the "waters were as clear as crystal", thereby giving the lake its name. Ziba Beardsley continued south to Naperville. In February 1836, the first white settlers, Beman and Polly Crandall and six of their ten children, came from New York State traveling to Crystal Lake in a covered wagon. Their original cabin was built in the vicinity of today's intersection of Virginia Street and Van Buren Street. Four of the Crandall children were born there. Najah Beardsley's family was the second to settle in the area; his grandson, William Beardsley, was the first white child born on the Crystal Lake prairie, on May 7, 1837.
The town was first known as Crystal Ville. It was changed to Crystal Lake sometime before 1840. The area known today as downtown Crystal Lake was first called Dearborn and later, Nunda, from an area in New York where many settlers originated. The village of Dearborn was founded in the 1850s after an extension of railroads through the area. The first train station was built in 1856, although it was pre-fabricated and shipped from Chicago on a flatcar. At that time, the main business district for the village of Crystal Lake was located on Virginia Street, about one mile (1.6 km) southwest of the railroad station. The railroad served to connect both the people and industries of Crystal Lake and Dearborn to Chicago and the rest of the country. Dearborn grew quickly due to this new rail connection.
Select the Right Physical Therapy School near Crystal Lake IL
Picking the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve 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 field so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Crystal Lake IL.
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