How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Frankfort 60423
Earning a physical therapist degree near Frankfort IL is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. 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 before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Frankfort IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Frankfort IL health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Frankfort IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want 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 finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing also.
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 USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Colleges Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Frankfort IL home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Schools
At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Frankfort IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier stated, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you choose an online school, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Frankfort IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Frankfort IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. 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. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Frankfort IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Frankfort medical community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. 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 converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Frankfort IL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something 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 often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist college you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Frankfort IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Frankfort Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Frankfort IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Frankfort is a village in Will County, Illinois, United States. The population was 17,782 at the 2010 census, up from 10,391 in 2000. According to Forbes.com, in 2007 the village ranked as the 36th fastest growing suburb in the United States.
The name "Frankfort" was taken from Frankfort Township as designated by the governing board of Will County. It was commonly known as "Frankfort Station" after the opening of the Joliet & Northern Indiana Railroad through the township in 1855, though the official plat of the community dated March 1855 shows the name as "Frankfort". Property deed abstracts and railroad documents also show that the name was always Frankfort. Local residents incorporated Frankfort as a village in 1879. It also has some reference to the major German city of Frankfurt.
First inhabited by Native Americans, including the Potawatomi and Sac and Fox tribes, Frankfort was used as a conduit between the Des Plaines and St. Joseph rivers. Originally, the area was part of the Virginia Territory before the French signed a treaty with Manitoqua, the Potawatomi chief, for land in the Prestwick area. The first pioneers came to Frankfort in the early 1830s by means of the Des Plaines River from the southwest and by wagon from the east along the Sauk Trail, a roadway that still exists today.
Pick the Best Physical Therapy College near Frankfort IL
Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize 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 ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Frankfort IL.
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