How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Bemidji 56601
Earning a physical therapist degree near Bemidji MN is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to investigate the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Bemidji MN private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to address the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Head injuries.
- Heart attacks.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Bemidji MN health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one 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 preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Bemidji MN area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by 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 curriculum.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order 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 three years to complete, making the overall commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bemidji MN home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.
What to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Bemidji MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll need to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you want to be sure that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.
Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited? Ask if the programs you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, 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 program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Bemidji MN physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your program selections. It might also be prudent to contact the Minnesota Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.
What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bemidji MN area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria for Minnesota 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 therapy school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.
Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Bemidji MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to receive practical experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional connections in the Bemidji medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.
What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Bemidji MN residence. Students who have decided to attend online classes obviously will not have to trouble 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Bemidji MN area, check 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 procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bemidji Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bemidji MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Bemidji (/bəˈmɪdʒiː/ bə-MIJ-ee) is a city in Beltrami County (and county seat), in north west Minnesota, United States. According to the 2012-2016 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, the United States Census Bureau estimates the total population of Bemidji as of 2016 to be 14,664, making it the largest commercial center between Grand Forks, North Dakota and Duluth, Minnesota. Bemidji houses many Native American services, including the Indian Health Service. The city is the central hub of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, White Earth Indian Reservation and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. Bemidji lies on the south west shore of Lake Bemidji, the northernmost lake feeding the Mississippi River and as such is deemed "The First City On The Mississippi." Bemidji is also the self-proclaimed "curling capital" of the U.S. and birthplace of Paul Bunyan.
Its name derives from the Ojibwe Buh-mid-ji-ga-maug (Double-Vowel orthography: bemijigamaag), meaning "a lake with crossing waters". On occasion, in Ojibwe, the city of Bemidji is called Wabigamaang ("at the lake channel/narrows"), because part of the city is situated on the Lakes Bemidji/Irving narrows, located on the south end of Lake Bemidji, and extends to the eastern shore of Lake Irving. Some sources also credit the name to Chief Bemidji, an Ojibwe chief.
Bemidji Township was surveyed in 1874 and organized in 1896 twenty-four days after the village of Bemidji was chartered and is the oldest township in the county. In 1897, the county attorney declared the original Bemidji township organization illegal (no reason given) and the township reorganized June 26, 1897.
Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Bemidji MN
Selecting the ideal physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a gratifying 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 excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may want to go to each of the schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following 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 education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Bemidji MN.
A Few More Interesting Locations in Minnesota