Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Galesburg IL

How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Galesburg 61401

Galesburg IL physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Galesburg IL is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are considering to make sure they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about 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 Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Galesburg IL physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of settings, including Galesburg IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Galesburg IL medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Galesburg IL physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as 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 summaries of degrees that are offered in the Galesburg IL area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require four years to finish and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several 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 offered in the USA. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Galesburg ILAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Galesburg IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Galesburg IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Galesburg IL physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your school selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower 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 placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Galesburg IL area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Galesburg IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Galesburg medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Galesburg IL home. Those who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Galesburg IL area, verify 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 have to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Galesburg Illinois?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Galesburg IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Galesburg, Illinois

Galesburg is a city in Knox County, Illinois, United States. This city is forty-five miles (72.4 km) northwest of Peoria. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 32,195. It is the county seat of Knox County.[4] Galesburg is home to Knox College, a private four-year liberal arts college, and Carl Sandburg College, a two-year community college.

Galesburg was founded by George Washington Gale, a Presbyterian minister from New York state who dreamed of establishing a manual labor college (which became Knox College). A committee from New York purchased 17 acres (0.069 km2; 0.027 sq mi) in Knox County in 1835, and the first 25 settlers arrived in 1836. They built temporary cabins in Log City near current Lake Storey, just north of Galesburg, having decided that no log cabins were to be built inside the town limits.

Galesburg was home to the first anti-slavery society in Illinois, founded in 1837, and was a stop on the Underground Railroad.[5] The city was the site of the fifth Lincoln–Douglas debate, on a temporary speaker's platform attached to Knox College's Old Main building on October 7, 1858. Knox College continues to maintain and use Old Main to this day. An Underground Railroad Museum and Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum were built in Knox College's Alumni Hall after it had finished renovations.

Select the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Galesburg IL

Picking the best physical therapy college is an important initial decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish 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 options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Galesburg IL.

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