How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Dekalb 60115
Getting a physical therapy degree near Dekalb IL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Dekalb IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have 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 due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Dekalb IL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are offered in the Dekalb IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the extensive 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable 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 prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Dekalb IL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Dekalb IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college 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, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some Dekalb IL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. 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 schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Dekalb IL area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have relationships with Dekalb IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Dekalb health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher 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 a chance to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Dekalb IL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Dekalb IL area, confirm 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 procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dekalb Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Dekalb IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
DeKalb /dɪˈkælb/ is a city in DeKalb County, Illinois, United States. The population was 43,862 according to the 2010 census, up from 39,018 at the 2000 census. The city is named after decorated German American war hero Johann de Kalb, who died during the American Revolutionary War.
DeKalb was originally called Huntley’s Grove, and under the latter name was platted in 1853. The name is for Baron Johann de Kalb, a major general in the American Revolutionary War. A post office has been in operation at DeKalb since 1849. The development of barbed wire is key in the history of DeKalb. Joseph Glidden, who developed barbed wire, was a historic citizen of DeKalb. Glidden would ultimately be known as the “Father of Barbed Wire”. Glidden began to mass produce his invention, and eventually sold half of the company to Isaac L. Ellwood. Together, the two formed the Barb Fence Company.
The city of DeKalb is located in northern Illinois, United States. Roughly 65 miles west of downtown Chicago and roughly 30 miles southeast of Rockford, IL. The Kishwaukee River flows northward through the city of DeKalb.
Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist School near Dekalb IL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. But there are other important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Dekalb IL.
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