How to Find the Right Physical Therapist Program near Freeburg 62243
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Freeburg IL is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered besides location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, such as Freeburg IL hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. 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 in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop 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.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Freeburg IL medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapist degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degree levels that are available in the Freeburg IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to finish and commonly incorporate 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). 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 important element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not solely 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 available in the United States. A number of licensed 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 instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
Although not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Freeburg IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number 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.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are numerous PT schools within the Freeburg IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the programs 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 college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Freeburg IL physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your college 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 filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Freeburg 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 exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are interested in have partnerships with Freeburg IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get hands on training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Freeburg health care community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they pick will have to be within travelling distance of their Freeburg IL home. Those who have chosen to attend online classes obviously 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 program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Freeburg IL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option 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 might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Freeburg Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Freeburg IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Freeburg lies in the fertile and rolling southern Illinois plains between the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. It was platted in 1836 as the town of Urbana by immigrants to this area from Virginia around 1800. The first European settlers of Freeburg were of English and Irish ancestry.
There were five migratory Indian tribes that crisscrossed each other in Illinois; the Peorias, Cahokias, Kaskaskias, Tamaroas, and Michiganics. It is said that Turkey Hill north of town was a popular Indian campground that also attracted many early settlers because of the view it provided of the surrounding countryside. The last Indian tribes left this area by 1820.
The big German migrations to this area started around 1830 and continued quite strong for the rest of the century. Obviously, the abundance of coal, the availability of cheap fertile farm land, as well as the proximity to the frontier city of St. Louis, only 20 miles to the northwest, are what attracted settlers to Freeburg.
Select the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Freeburg IL
Choosing the best physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk 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 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 training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Freeburg IL.
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