How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Program near Fox Lake 60020
Earning a physical therapy degree near Fox Lake IL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss 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 is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Fox Lake IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement 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.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Fox Lake IL health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage 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 going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degree Options
There are three physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Fox Lake IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required in order 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 overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 offered in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Programs
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fox Lake IL residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Fox Lake IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 choose an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact several Fox Lake IL physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Fox Lake IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapy program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are interested in have relationships with Fox Lake IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Fox Lake healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Fox Lake IL residence. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might 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 to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fox Lake IL area, make sure that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fox Lake Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Fox Lake IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Fox Lake, Illinois
The village was incorporated on December 15, 1906, and certified by the state on April 13, 1907. The area was first explored during the 17th century by the French. In the late 19th century, it was known as Nippersink Point. Early in the 20th century, there were but a few hundred residents. During the summer season, however, the population would reach an estimated 20,000 people, and at its peak, the area had 50 hotels and 2,000 cottages. Infamous Chicago gangster Al Capone allegedly utilized an establishment now known as the Mineola Hotel and Restaurant as a hideout. In 1979, the Mineola was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and may be the largest wooden frame structure in the state.
Many Chicagoans have established summer homes in Fox Lake. The village is situated among the Chain O'Lakes, where swimming, boating, jet skiing, tubing and boarding are popular activities. In 2006, there were an estimated 28,000 boats registered on the lake system.
Boating accidents are prevalent in today's society, however, number of accidents on Fox Lake have decreased in part to stricter regulations on boating under the influence and other factors. Fiscal year 2010 had only one accident and death by boat. That number rose in 2015 to 3 accidents, 1 injury and 1 death. The two fatalities in 2015 were caused by drowning due to alcohol use.
Select the Right Physical Therapy School near Fox Lake IL
Picking the right physical therapist school is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish 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 ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Fox Lake IL.
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