Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Blue Earth MN

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Blue Earth 56013

Blue Earth MN physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Blue Earth MN is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Blue Earth MN physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, including Blue Earth 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Blue Earth MN medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Blue Earth MN physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the only degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Blue Earth MN area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some 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 phased out and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Blue Earth MNAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Blue Earth MN residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Blue Earth MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll have to research other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional organization. As earlier stated, 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 program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Blue Earth MN physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. It might also be a good idea to check with the Minnesota Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Blue Earth MN area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select provides both exceptional 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have relationships with Blue Earth MN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional connections in the Blue Earth health care community and help with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the Program Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Blue Earth MN residence. Students who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing 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 need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are examining have a financial aid department and find out what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Blue Earth MN area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an alternative 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 as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Blue Earth Minnesota?

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

Blue Earth, Minnesota

Blue Earth is a city in Faribault County, Minnesota, at the confluence of the east and west branches of the Blue Earth River. The population was 3,353 at the 2010 census.[5] It is the county seat of Faribault County.[6] It is home to a statue of the Jolly Green Giant. Additionally, Interstate Highway 90 is centered on Blue Earth, as the east and west construction teams met here in 1978. As a tribute, there is a golden stripe of concrete on the interstate near Blue Earth. This draws a parallel to the golden spike set in the first transcontinental railroad.

Blue Earth was platted in 1856.[7] The city took its name from the Blue Earth River which surrounds the town.[8] The river was given the Dakota name "Mahka-to" (meaning Blue Earth) for the blue-black clay found in the river banks.[9]

The Jolly Green Giant statue attracts over 10,000 visitors a year. In July 2007, the Blue Earth City Council approved space for a Green Giant memorabilia museum. Lowell Steen, of Blue Earth, has collected thousands of Green Giant items and will permanently loan them to the museum.[11]

Choose the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Blue Earth MN

Choosing the best physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist school, keep in mind that many factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and talk to 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 following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can achieve your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Blue Earth MN.

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