How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy School near Dallas City 62330
Earning a physical therapist degree near Dallas City IL is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Dallas City IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Dallas City IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available 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 summaries of degrees that are offered in the Dallas City IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While 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 complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of 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 practicing 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees 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 a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dallas City IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you most likely have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Dallas City IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. 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 select an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Dallas City IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dallas City IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you choose provides both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements 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 therapy program. While licensing requirements fluctuate 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 Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Dallas City IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Dallas City medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Dallas City IL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally 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 consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required 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 live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and find out what type of help is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Dallas City IL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dallas City Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dallas City IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Dallas City, Illinois
Dallas City was laid out in 1848, and named in honor of George Mifflin Dallas, 11th Vice President of the United States of America, from 1845 to 1849. A post office has been in operation at Dallas City since 1850.
According to the 2010 census, Dallas City has a total area of 3.272 square miles (8.47 km2), of which 2.37 square miles (6.14 km2) (or 72.43%) is land and 0.902 square miles (2.34 km2) (or 27.57%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,055 people, 466 households, and 301 families residing in the city. The population density was 444.2 people per square mile (171.2/km²). There were 503 housing units at an average density of 211.8 per square mile (81.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 99.72% White, 0.09% Native American, and 0.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.57% of the population.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Dallas City IL
Picking the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Dallas City IL.
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