How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Geneseo 61254
Earning a physical therapy degree near Geneseo IL is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals 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 education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will furnish a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select 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 evaluated along with location and cost. 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’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in varying settings, such as Geneseo IL private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Geneseo IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees
There are three physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Geneseo IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only 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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
Although not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more 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 close to the college 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 Geneseo IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist 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 so many PT schools within the Geneseo IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you want to make certain that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Geneseo IL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college 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 submitted against the colleges.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Geneseo IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even excellent. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Geneseo IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional connections in the Geneseo healthcare community and help with job placement after licensing.
What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Geneseo IL home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Geneseo IL area, confirm that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Geneseo Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Geneseo IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Geneseo is a city in Henry County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,586 at the 2010 census, up from 6,480 in 2000. Geneseo is 20 miles east of the Quad Cities, at the intersection of Interstate 80, U.S. Route 6 and Illinois Route 82.
Geneseo was founded as a Christian colony in 1836 by seven families of the Congregationalist denomination from Geneseo, New York and Bergen, New York seeking to establish a "church in the wilderness". Roderick R. Stewart, one of the city's founding members, named the town Geneseo after the settlers' town of origin in New York. The name "Geneseo" is a variation of the Iroquois word Genesee, meaning "shining valley" or "beautiful valley".
Planning for the colony began as early as 1829. In May 1836 the founding seven families of Geneseo sent an exploratory committee to survey the precise location of their new community in the Old Northwest. This group, known as the "New York Committee", or "New York Group" was composed of John C. Ward, Cromwell K. Bartlett, and Roderick R. Stewart. Advised at a meeting in Chicago by the future Governor of Illinois, Thomas Ford, the small committee rode by wagon and horseback to investigate the 2,000-acre tract. The transaction of the land was completed at a place called Brandenburg's Tavern in what is today Colona Township and purchased at a dollar and a quarter per acre.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist Training Program near Geneseo IL
Picking the right physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Geneseo IL.
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