How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Annandale 55302
Receiving a physical therapist degree near Annandale MN is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Annandale MN hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Annandale MN health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about getting into 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 therapist degrees offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Annandale MN area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often made available by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a portion of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to prepare students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are a requirement in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
While not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Annandale MN residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Annandale MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you select the college that is best for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 choose an online school, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as 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 therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Annandale MN physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your college options. It may also be prudent to check with the Minnesota 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 relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Annandale MN area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Annandale MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Annandale medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. 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 College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Annandale MN residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of assistance is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Annandale MN area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, find out 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 Annandale Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Annandale MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Annandale was platted in 1886, and named after Annan, in Scotland. A post office has been in operation at Annandale since 1887. Annandale was incorporated in 1888. One property in Annandale, the 1895 Thayer Hotel, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Annandale School District serves children and adults in the school district in four different school sites. These include Annandale High School, Annandale Middle School, Annandale Elementary School, and Community Education Center.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,228 people, 1,338 households, and 819 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,083.2 inhabitants per square mile (418.2/km2). There were 1,450 housing units at an average density of 486.6 per square mile (187.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 1.5% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.1% of the population.
Select the Ideal Physical Therapy Training Program near Annandale MN
Picking the right physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a gratifying 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 important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program 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 field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Annandale MN.
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