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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Clearwater 55320

Clearwater MN physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Clearwater MN is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the medical 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 can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee hold 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 thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest 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 what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Clearwater MN physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, such as Clearwater MN private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Clearwater MN medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into 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 long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to complete and often include 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 must also 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 total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Clinical training is an important element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

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 USA. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Schools Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clearwater MNWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Clearwater MN home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than similar on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Clearwater MN area and across Minnesota, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 enroll in an online school, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Clearwater MN physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It may also be a good idea to contact the Minnesota Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist colleges you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might mean that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Clearwater MN area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you choose 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are assessing have associations with Clearwater MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive hands on 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 relationships in the Clearwater health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are looking at 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 determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within driving distance of their Clearwater MN home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are examining have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Clearwater MN area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have 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 Clearwater Minnesota?

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

Clearwater, Minnesota

The Wright County portion of Clearwater is part of the Minneapolis–St. Paul–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the small portion in Stearns County is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Clearwater was platted in 1856, and named after the nearby Clearwater River.[7] A post office has been in operation at Clearwater since 1856.[8] Three properties in Clearwater are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the 1861 First Congregational Church of Clearwater, the 1863 William W. Webster House, and the 1888 Clearwater Masonic and Grand Army of the Republic Hall.[9]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,735 people, 680 households, and 445 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,112.2 inhabitants per square mile (429.4/km2). There were 762 housing units at an average density of 488.5 per square mile (188.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 1.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapist Training Program near Clearwater MN

Picking the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are other relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy program, bear in mind that numerous factors will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak 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 adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Clearwater MN.

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