How to Choose a Physical Therapist Training Program near Depue 61322
Earning a physical therapist degree near Depue IL is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, such as Depue 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Depue IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Depue IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to be 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 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 three years to finish, making the total investment of time 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 taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
Although not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many 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 integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Depue IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you want to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Depue IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Depue IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Depue IL area? If a college 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 broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy 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? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are reviewing have partnerships with Depue IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Depue healthcare community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Depue IL residence. Those who have opted 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Depue 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Depue Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Depue IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Donnelley/Depue State Park
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Depue IL
Choosing the ideal physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Depue IL.
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