How to Select a Physical Therapy Training Program near Fairbury 61739
Obtaining a physical therapy degree near Fairbury IL is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the proper education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, including Fairbury IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Fairbury IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Offered
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are offered in the Fairbury IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required if you want 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 three years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Colleges
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fairbury IL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Fairbury IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can look into 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 also. Call several Fairbury IL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fairbury IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have partnerships with Fairbury IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Fairbury health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Fairbury IL home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing 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 may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Support Offered? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Fairbury IL area, check that they are available. 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fairbury Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fairbury IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fairbury was laid out on November 10, 1857 by Caleb L. Patton and Octave Chanute. Like most Illinois towns of the 1850s, the original town of Fairbury was centered on a depot ground. It consisted of twenty-six blocks, each divided into fourteen to sixteen lots. There was no central public square, but one was later included in Marsh's addition. The plan used was virtually identical to that at Chatsworth Illinois, including the street names, and the plan very similar to that at Gridley and El Paso on the same railroad.
Octave Chanute was a civil engineer employed by the new Peoria and Oquawka Railroad, which is now the Toledo, Peoria and Western Railroad. Caleb L. Patton was an early settler on the land where the town was built. Chanute, a French native, was later famed for publishing Progress in Flying Machines, which helped pioneer aviation. The Wright brothers even mentioned Chanute as a mentor to them. Chanute built the railroad that made Fairbury possible, but did so against the will of Patton, Fairbury's first citizen.
It is Caleb Patton who should really be credited for the creation of Fairbury. It was he who owned the land that the original town was built on, and it was he who advertised lots for sale and attracted other people to live there. Today, the original town's area starts at the corner of Maple Street and First Street and stretches to the corner of Oak Street and Seventh Street. When Patton heard that Chanute wanted to build a railroad in his general direction, he saw it as an opportunity to make use of his otherwise deserted land and struck a deal. If Chanute built his railroad through Fairbury, then Patton would give Chanute half of the town's property.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Fairbury IL
Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you to your final decision. You may want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Fairbury IL.
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