Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Elburn IL

How to Find the Right Physical Therapist College near Elburn 60119

Elburn IL physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Elburn IL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with location and cost. But before we discuss 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?

Elburn IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Elburn IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 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 course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Elburn IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Available

Elburn IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Elburn IL area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Elburn ILWhile not as common as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Elburn IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Elburn IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact several Elburn IL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left 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 assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Elburn IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have associations with Elburn IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Elburn healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Elburn IL home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school 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 usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Elburn IL area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Elburn Illinois?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Elburn IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Elburn, Illinois

Elburn is a village in Kane County, Illinois, United States. The population was 5,602 as of the 2010 census,[2] up from 2,756 at the 2000 census.[4] It is located at the intersection of Illinois Route 38 and Route 47. Elburn is a far-west suburb situated 46 miles (74 km) west of the Chicago Loop with frequent commuter rail service from its Metra station at the end of the Union Pacific West Line.

On May 2, 1834, William Lance arrived in the Elburn area, and soon built a home there. Shortly thereafter, a man named Henry Warne arrived and opened a stagecoach inn called the Halfway House, since it was half-way between Oregon, Illinois and Chicago.

When the Chicago and North Western Transportation Company built through the area in 1854, the stop at this site was named Blackberry Station after the Township. The village incorporated as Elburn in 1886.[7]

Choose the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Elburn IL

Selecting the right physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your ultimate 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 accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following 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 fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Elburn IL.

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