How to Find the Right Physical Therapy School near Erie 61250
Earning a physical therapy degree near Erie IL is an essential first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Do Physical Therapists Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Erie IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. 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 experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Erie IL medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are 3 physical therapist degrees available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Erie IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically offered by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually 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 also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in several 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Schools Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Erie IL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Erie IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call several Erie IL physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Erie IL area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have relationships with Erie IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Erie health care community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Erie IL residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to keep 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what kind of aid is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapist college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Erie IL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Erie Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Erie 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, Erie has a total area of 1.449 square miles (3.75 km2), of which 1.44 square miles (3.73 km2) (or 99.38%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.62%) is water.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 1,589 people, 630 households, and 466 families residing in the village. The population density was 438.2/km² (1.132.7/sq mi). There were 663 housing units at an average density of 472.6 per square mile (182.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.80% White, 0.25% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.38% from other races, and 0.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.88% of the population.
There were 630 households out of which 33.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.4% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.0% were non-families. 23.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.98.
Select the Right Physical Therapy School near Erie IL
Selecting the right physical therapy program is an important first decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to different campuses to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Erie IL.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Illinois