How to Select a Physical Therapist Program near Chanhassen 55317
Obtaining a physical therapist degree near Chanhassen MN is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, 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 necessary to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Chanhassen MN private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression 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.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Chanhassen MN medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Offered
There are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief summaries of degrees that are offered in the Chanhassen MN area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically offered by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often incorporate 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing also.
The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Online Degrees
Although not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Chanhassen MN home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and costs 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 ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.
Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs
By now you most likely have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, such as the type of physical therapist degree you want 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 schools within the Chanhassen MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited? Find out if the schools 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 select an online college, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.
What is the Program’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call some Chanhassen MN physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program 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 submitted against the schools.
What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two useful statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean 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 Chanhassen MN area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapist schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Chanhassen MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Chanhassen health care community and help with job placement once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Smaller classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will have to be within driving distance of their Chanhassen MN residence. Those who have opted to attend classes online 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 college that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.
Is Financial Aid Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Chanhassen MN area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Chanhassen Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Chanhassen MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The origin of the name comes from the Dakota word chanhasen meaning "sugar-maple tree" (chan, tree; haza, a tree with sap). The northern metro area Hassan Township carries the latter morpheme of the word to avoid confusion. Chanhassen was ranked as the #2 best place to live in America in 2009 by Money Magazine, and fourth among small towns rated as best places to live in 2013.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.88 square miles (59.26 km2), of which 20.44 square miles (52.94 km2) is land and 2.44 square miles (6.32 km2) is water. Although the bulk of Chanhassen is in Carver County, a small portion also extends into Hennepin County.
According to data from the US Census Bureau the median household income (using data from 2008-2012) for Chanhassen was $103,462. For the same time period the per capita income was $46,305. Three percent of the population was living below the poverty line.
Choose the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Chanhassen MN
Choosing the ideal physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you must make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are other critical questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the best choice. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Chanhassen MN.
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