How to Pick a Physical Therapy Program near Benson 56215
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Benson MN is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must get the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make sure they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated besides 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 the options for education.
What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?
Physical therapists work in diverse settings, such as Benson MN hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Benson MN medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapy Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue 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 emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Benson 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 a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. 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 training to prep students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete 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). 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 component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the fulfillment 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.
Physical Therapist Online Schools
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Benson MN residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you probably have made a decision regarding a few of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Benson MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have compiled a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions before making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited? Find out if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously 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 college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Call some Benson MN physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your school selections. It might also be a good idea 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 useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Benson MN area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.
Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be working. 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 college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.
Are Internships Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Benson MN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent manner to get hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional connections in the Benson medical community and help with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Benson MN residence. Those who have opted 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 importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and see what type of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Benson MN area, check that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Benson Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Benson MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Benson was platted in 1870 when the railroad was extended to that point. The city was named for Ben. H. Benson, a Norwegian settler. A post office has been in operation at Benson since 1870. Benson was incorporated as a city in 1908.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,240 people, 1,469 households, and 828 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,080.0 inhabitants per square mile (417.0/km2). There were 1,602 housing units at an average density of 534.0 per square mile (206.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.2% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.
There were 1,469 households of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.6% were non-families. 38.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.85.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Benson MN
Choosing the ideal physical therapist school is an important initial decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different campuses to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Benson MN.
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