How to Pick a Physical Therapist School near Deerfield 60015
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Deerfield IL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we talk about 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 work in varying locations, including Deerfield IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Deerfield IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about going 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 extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Deerfield IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered 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 course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom 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 taken the place of 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 having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Deerfield IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Deerfield IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are reviewing have earned 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 program, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 as well. Get in touch with some Deerfield IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Deerfield IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you enroll in 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have partnerships with Deerfield IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great way to obtain practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Deerfield health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within travelling distance of their Deerfield IL residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide 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 typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Deerfield IL area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Deerfield Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Deerfield IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Deerfield is a suburb of Chicago in Lake County, Illinois, United States, approximately 25 miles north of Chicago with a small portion extending into Cook County, Illinois. The population was 18,225 at the 2010 census, a decline of 175 from 2000.
Deerfield is home to the headquarters of Walgreens, Baxter Healthcare, Business Technology Partners, Caterpillar Inc., APAC Customer Services, Fortune Brands Home & Security, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company's US HQ, Consumers Digest, and Mondelēz International.
On April 2, 2018, the Deerfield Village Board passed an ordinance that would ban the sale, possession, and manufacture of assault weapons. Under the ordinance, assault weapons are defined as any semi-automatic rifle, pistol, or shotgun that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and contain at least one illegal feature mentioned in the ordinance. (e.g. for semi-automatic rifles, a muzzle brake)
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Deerfield IL
Deciding on the best physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, keep in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Deerfield IL.
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