How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Godfrey 62035
Getting a physical therapist degree near Godfrey IL is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist?
Physical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Godfrey IL hospitals, health clinics, 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 struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Godfrey IL medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Godfrey IL area:
- Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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 overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Therefor 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Godfrey IL home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs
At this point you most likely have come to decision concerning several of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Godfrey IL area and throughout Illinois, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to be sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned 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 select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated 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 excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Godfrey IL physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact 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 Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, 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 Godfrey IL area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both exceptional 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 therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Godfrey IL hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students develop professional relationships in the Godfrey health care community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program also.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Godfrey IL residence. Those who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually 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 Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Godfrey IL area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Godfrey Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Godfrey IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
According to the 2010 census, Godfrey has a total area of 36.638 square miles (94.89 km2), of which 34.64 square miles (89.72 km2) (or 94.55%) is land and 1.998 square miles (5.17 km2) (or 5.45%) is water.
The southwestern boundary of the village is a wall of limestone bluffs along the Mississippi River. Approximately 12 miles (19 km) upstream is the mouth of the Illinois River. The Missouri River empties into the Mississippi 10 miles (16 km) downstream. Godfrey retains the status of a village and is a mixture of small business, agriculture, and upper middle class housing developments.
The village is named for Captain Benjamin Godfrey, a native New Englander, who arrived in the area in 1832. 1838 saw the establishment of the Monticello Female Seminary, later renamed Monticello College. Captain Godfrey, the father of eight daughters, was an advocate of higher education for women and made a large donation of funds and land for the college. Monticello operated as a two-year college for women until the campus was sold in 1970 to establish Lewis and Clark Community College. Monticello's final class graduated in 1971.
Select the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Godfrey IL
Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me realize 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Godfrey IL.
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