How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Fithian 61844
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Fithian IL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to 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 necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered besides 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 the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in varying locations, including Fithian IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Fithian IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Fithian IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare 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 initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually include 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 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just 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 licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
While not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Fithian IL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Fithian IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college options. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s why we have put together 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 prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Fithian IL physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your school options. It may also be a good idea 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Fithian IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Fithian IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Fithian medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical student to teacher 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 converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they choose will have to be within commuting distance of their Fithian IL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial assistance office and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Fithian IL area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fithian Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fithian IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The town was named after Dr. William Fithian, who donated some of the land for the community; he came to Danville in 1830 and had a farm just a mile west of the site of the town of Fithian. He was a friend and supporter of Abraham Lincoln, who was reputed to have stayed at the farm often in the mid-19th century, as he traveled on his circuit prior to his presidency. Fithian served terms in the Illinois House and Senate. The town of Fithian was a center for trading livestock and grain; it thrived when the Illinois Traction System (an interurban railroad) went through in 1903, and declined along with the ITS, especially during the Great Depression.
As of the 2000 Census, there were 506 people, 201 households and 147 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,308.9 inhabitants per square mile (505.4/km2). There were 205 housing units at an average density of 530.3 per square mile (204.7/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 99.41% White, 0.20% African American and 0.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.
There were 201 households, out of which 32.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.2% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present and 26.4% were non-families. 20.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% 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 2.93.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Fithian IL
Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Fithian IL.
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