How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near El Paso 61738
Receiving a physical therapist degree near El Paso IL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate those you are considering to ensure they will furnish a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in 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 considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists practice in diverse locations, including El Paso IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other El Paso IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. 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 considering entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly 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 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the El Paso IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can 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 most often made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 offered in the USA. Some 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 instituted.
Physical Therapist Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s El Paso IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like 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 schools within the El Paso IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to make sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you enroll in an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’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 also. Call several El Paso IL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be prudent to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the El Paso IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with El Paso IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the El Paso medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their El Paso IL home. Students who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even 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 usually charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and see what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the El Paso IL area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near El Paso Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the El Paso IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
El Paso, Illinois
El Paso is a city in Woodford and McLean counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. The population was 2,810 at the 2010 census. The Woodford County portion of El Paso is part of the Peoria, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area.
El Paso is a small community in central Illinois that took on more characteristics of a highway community after the construction of Interstate 39, which supplanted the older alignment of U.S. Highway 51. In addition, El Paso is a potential stop for Chicago-Peoria traffic via U.S. Highway 24.
El Paso was founded by George Gibson and James Wathen. Gibson named the city "El Paso" after El Paso, Texas, or from the presence of low laying Rio Grande River that allowed an open pass between two mountains
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near El Paso IL
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are other important 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 variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in El Paso IL.
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