How to Select a Physical Therapist School near Flossmoor 60422
Getting a physical therapist degree near Flossmoor IL is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Flossmoor IL hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes 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 experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Flossmoor IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may 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 considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Flossmoor IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Flossmoor IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Flossmoor IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Flossmoor IL physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two important statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Flossmoor IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have associations with Flossmoor IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Flossmoor medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they select will need to be within driving distance of their Flossmoor IL residence. Students who have chosen to attend online classes naturally 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you ultimately select 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 evening or weekend classes in the Flossmoor IL area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Flossmoor Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Flossmoor IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The village is renowned for the quality and architectural variety of its housing stock, as well as its proximity to numerous country clubs. It is the second safest suburb in the Southland of Cook County, ranking just below the neighboring village of Olympia Fields.
According to the 2010 census, Flossmoor has a total area of 3.66 square miles (9.48 km2), all land. Flossmoor has a station on the Metra Electric Main Line, which provides easy access to the Chicago Loop and the University of Chicago.
Although Flossmoor has roots in the 19th-century, it was first recognized as an affluent community in the 1920s when it became known as a cultural and recreational mecca of elite country clubs and stately golf courses. The 1920 PGA Championship and the Western Open golf tournaments of 1906 and 1912 were played in Flossmoor. It was incorporated as a village in 1924. In the years since, Flossmoor was not only seen as the "status" suburb of south/southwest suburban Chicago but also as one of "the fashionable places to "Live In" nationally. By the 1970's, Flossmoor had transitioned from a White, Protestant community to the home of many Jewish Americans and Italian Americans, however today the city is mostly African American. 
Choose the Right Physical Therapy College near Flossmoor IL
Deciding on the right physical therapy program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Flossmoor IL.
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