How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Cook 55723
Getting a physical therapy degree near Cook MN is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to 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 varying settings, such as Cook MN hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Heart attacks.
- Sports injuries.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Cook MN medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degrees
There are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Cook MN area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total commitment 7 years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, not just for graduation but in several 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 eliminated and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapist Degrees Online
While not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are a number of 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 requires that the student live near the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Cook MN home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition may be significantly lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT colleges within the Cook MN area and across Minnesota, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to make certain that you enroll in the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. 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 reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, 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 program, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial assistance.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for 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. Get in touch with some Cook MN physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to 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 college’s job placement program, particularly in the Cook MN area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the school has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the school you choose furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are evaluating have associations with Cook MN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent means to obtain hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional connections in the Cook medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.
How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are researching what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.
Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they decide on will have to be within driving distance of their Cook MN home. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. 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 may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally 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 type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of aid is offered. They at least should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid may be available.
Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy program you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Cook MN area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours 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 Cook Minnesota?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Cook MN area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The city of Cook was known initially as Little Fork, because of the river of the same name that runs through the city, later being known as Ashawa, which stands for "by the river or across the river"; however its name was changed to its current name on August 1, 1908; at the request of the U.S. Postal Service "because confusion with a village in southern Minnesota named Oshawa". The town was named in honor of Wirth Cook, an owner of the railroad that was constructed through Cook in 1903 and 1904. Cook was incorporated on May 13, 1926.
As of the census of 2010, there were 574 people, 268 households, and 134 families residing in the city. The population density was 226.9 inhabitants per square mile (87.6/km2). There were 306 housing units at an average density of 120.9 per square mile (46.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.0% White, 0.2% African American, 4.9% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.3% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
There were 268 households of which 23.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.1% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 1.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 50.0% were non-families. 43.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 20.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.84.
Choose the Best Physical Therapist School near Cook MN
Picking the right physical therapist program is an important initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the health care field. 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 concerning your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Cook MN.
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