How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Gibson City 60936
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Gibson City IL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate those you are considering to make certain they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover 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 practice in varying locations, including Gibson City IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Gibson City IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise several 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 profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degrees available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Gibson City IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 3 years to complete, making the total commitment 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having 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 Therapist Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Gibson City IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Gibson City IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned 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 select an online program, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy 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 rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Gibson City IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Gibson City IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have associations with Gibson City IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to get practical 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 students and graduates develop professional connections in the Gibson City medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Gibson City IL residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you choose 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 typically 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 Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy college you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Gibson City IL area, confirm 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Gibson City Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Gibson City IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Gibson City, Illinois
The site of Gibson City was purchased and platted by Jonathan B. Lott in 1869. In 1870, Lott built a home and a post office there, and several stores and a grain elevator were constructed. Lott named the place Gibson after the maiden name of his wife, Margaret Gibson Lott, and City was added later by the post office department. Both the Gilman, Clinton and Springfield Railroad and the Chicago and Paducah Railroad reached the town in 1871, allowing its population to grow. Gibson City was incorporated as a village in 1872. A third railroad, the LaFayette, Muncie and Bloomington Railroad, was built through Gibson City in 1874. In the same year, one of the railroads signed a contract that paid Augustana College, located in Paxton at the time, a commission of $1 per acre on all railroad land sold to Swedish settlers.
According to the 2010 census, Gibson City has a total area of 2.349 square miles (6.08 km2), of which 2.32 square miles (6.01 km2) (or 98.77%) is land and 0.029 square miles (0.08 km2) (or 1.23%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,373 people, 1,469 households, and 928 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,604.0 people per square mile (620.2/km²). There were 1,565 housing units at an average density of 744.2 per square mile (287.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.13% White, 0.59% African American, 0.53% Asian, 0.03% from other races, and 0.71% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.65% of the population.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Gibson City IL
Deciding on the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that many factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Gibson City IL.
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