How to Choose a Physical Therapist School near Cokato 55321
Earning a physical therapy degree near Cokato MN is an essential first step to starting a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists work in diverse locations, including Cokato MN hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share 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 struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Arthritis or Osteoporosis
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Sports injuries.
- Burn injuries.
- Knee Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cokato MN health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees Available
There are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short descriptions of degrees that are available in the Cokato MN area:
- Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist training to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to 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 a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Programs Online
Although not as common as the more traditional options, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cokato MN home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition can be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges
By now you undoubtedly have made a decision concerning a few of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Cokato MN area and throughout Minnesota, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making a final selection.
Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited? Ask if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Along with ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.
What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Call some Cokato MN physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent to contact the Minnesota Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.
What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Cokato MN area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. In every 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 vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.
Are Internships Offered? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Cokato MN clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific way to receive practical training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Cokato medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing what the average 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 converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.
Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Cokato MN home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously 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 consider is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.
Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges offer some form of financial aid to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is available. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Cokato MN area, make sure that they are offered. 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, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Cokato Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cokato MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,694 people, 1,000 households, and 652 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,726.9 inhabitants per square mile (666.8/km2). There were 1,103 housing units at an average density of 707.1 per square mile (273.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.0% White, 0.3% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 2.3% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.3% of the population.
There were 1,000 households of which 36.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.8% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.29.
The median age in the city was 32.5 years. 31.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.6% were from 25 to 44; 20.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Cokato MN
Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. However there are additional critical questions that you should ask pertaining to your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Cokato MN.
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31-2021.00 - Physical Therapist Assistants - O*NET OnLine
Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist.
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Find colleges near you with accredited physical therapist assisting programs. Find a school and get information about PT assistant degree programs, college campus locations, financial aid assistance and more. Use the search application to connect with a school near you.