How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near East Moline 61244
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near East Moline IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated 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 get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are looking at to make sure they will deliver a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including East Moline IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other East Moline IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather 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 Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapist degree options available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the East Moline IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s East Moline IL home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the East Moline IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to be sure that you select the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact some East Moline IL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program options. 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the East Moline IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports 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 school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with East Moline IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the East Moline medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their East Moline IL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the East Moline IL area, check 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 procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near East Moline Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the East Moline IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
East Moline, Illinois
East Moline is a city in Rock Island County, Illinois, United States. The population was 21,302 at the 2010 census. East Moline is one of the five Quad Cities, along with the cities of Rock Island, Moline, and the Iowa cities of Davenport and Bettendorf. The Quad Cities has a population estimate of 381,342.
As of the United States Census taken in 2000, there were 20,333 people, 8,510 households, and 5,369 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,254.9 people per square mile (870.4/km²). There were 8,988 housing units at an average density of 996.7 per square mile (384.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.04% White, 7.34% African American, 0.35% Native American, 2.25% Asian, 7.47% from other races, and 2.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.15% of the population.
There were 8,510 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.97.
Select the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near East Moline IL
Selecting the best physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that many variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in East Moline IL.
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