How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Elkhart 62634
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Elkhart IL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated 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 must receive the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Elkhart 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 previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Elkhart IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Elkhart IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement 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 require 4 years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely 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 offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Colleges Online
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Elkhart IL home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Elkhart IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the schools you are looking at have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, 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 important that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to 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 essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Elkhart IL physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school selections. It may also be prudent 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 couple of relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left due to displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After 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 Elkhart IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed 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 PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have associations with Elkhart IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Elkhart health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student 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 talk with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Elkhart IL residence. Those who have chosen 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 bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance office and find out what type of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Elkhart IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol 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 Elkhart Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Elkhart IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the 2010 census, Elkhart has a total area of 1.459 square miles (3.78 km2), of which 1.45 square miles (3.76 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.62%) is water.
Per the 2010 United States Census, Elkhart had 405 people. Among non-Hispanics this includes 387 White (95.6%), 2 Asian (0.5%), 2 Native Hawaiian & 1 from two or more races. The Hispanic or Latino population included 13 people (3.2%).
There were 176 households out of which 19.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married couples living together, 2.8% had a female householder with children & no husband present, and 38.6% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 34.1% had someone who was 65 years of age or older.
Choose the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Elkhart IL
Choosing the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Elkhart IL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4