How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Glen Carbon 62034
Getting a physical therapist degree near Glen Carbon IL is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the appropriate training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered along with location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Glen Carbon IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. 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 suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Glen Carbon IL health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy field, 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 Therapist Degrees
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Glen Carbon IL area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.
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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as common as the on campus alternatives, 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 combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Glen Carbon IL residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you want to obtain, 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 Glen Carbon IL area and across Illinois, you’ll have to look into other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate selection.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting 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 as well. Contact some Glen Carbon IL physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It might 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 schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest 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 support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Glen Carbon IL area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Glen Carbon IL clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Glen Carbon medical community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they pick will have to be within commuting distance of their Glen Carbon 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. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Help Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Glen Carbon IL area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Glen Carbon Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Glen Carbon IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Glen Carbon, Illinois
In 1801, Colonel Samuel Judy received a military grant for 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land near the base of the bluffs, just north of Judy Creek, and became one of the first permanent settlers of Madison County. The land was called Goshen Settlement, after the biblical land of Goshen. It was renamed Glen Carbon to reflect its coal mining heritage. Glen Carbon was incorporated as a village in 1892. It operated many coal mines until the last one shut down in 1934. Another industry was the St. Louis brick company, which burned down in the 1930s; then, right after being rebuilt, it burned down and was never rebuilt again.
Glen Carbon residents served during World War I. The city's Doughboy statue, honoring their service, has been selected as part of a national competition for restoration as part of the nation's World War I centennial activities.
Three railroads once served Glen Carbon. The Illinois Central Railroad, now the Ronald J. Foster Sr. Heritage Bike Trail, became one of the first rails to trails projects in the US, in 1992. The other two lines were the Norfolk Southern line and the Chicago and North Western line, which ran parallel with each other the entire way through Glen Carbon, and stopped operating in Glen Carbon in March 2000. The Nickel Plate Bike Trail follows both of those right-of-ways, switching back and forth between the NS and CNW lines the whole way through Glen Carbon.
Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Glen Carbon IL
Selecting the right physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me achieve 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 options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Glen Carbon IL.
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