Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Bethel MN

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Bethel 55005

Bethel MN physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Bethel MN is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to investigate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered besides 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 the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Bethel MN physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Bethel MN private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Bethel MN health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

Bethel MN physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Bethel MN area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 total commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several 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 offered 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 present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bethel MNAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Bethel MN home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Bethel MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you want to make sure that you select the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’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 Bethel MN physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight 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 colleges.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bethel MN area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are evaluating have associations with Bethel MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can help graduates and students form professional relationships in the Bethel health care community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are looking at what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Bethel 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 concern. One thing to bear 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of assistance is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bethel MN area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check 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 work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bethel Minnesota?

If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Bethel MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Bethel University (Minnesota)

Bethel University is a private, evangelical Christian, liberal arts university located primarily in Arden Hills, Minnesota. Founded in 1871 as a Baptist seminary, Bethel currently enrolls about 6,500 students in its undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs.[4] It is affiliated with Converge, formerly known as the Baptist General Conference, and is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.[4]

Bethel University began in Chicago, Illinois, as a seminary for Baptist immigrants from Sweden. In 1871, John Alexis Edgren opened a school for Swedish Baptist immigrants in the basement of First Swedish Baptist Church in Chicago.[5] In 1914, now under the support of Baptist General Conference, the seminary merged with Bethel Academy and relocated its campus to Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 1931, the Academy became Bethel Junior College. The addition of a four-year liberal arts college program created Bethel College and Seminary in 1947. The school relocated from St. Paul to Arden Hills, Minnesota in 1972. Beginning in 2004, the institution changed its name to Bethel University.[6]

The university offers degree programs through four different schools. The College of Arts and Sciences is its traditional undergraduate program, Bethel offers bachelor's degrees in 88 majors and 43 minors, as well as 11 pre-professional programs. The College of Adults & Professional Studies offers associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and a number of certificate programs. Through its graduate school, Bethel offers ten master's degrees, including a physician assistant program, as well as a doctorate in educational leadership. Bethel also offers a number of graduate certificate programs and licenses.[4]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy College near Bethel MN

Selecting the right physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to begin a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are additional critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that many variables will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach 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 appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Bethel MN.

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