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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Training Program near Dakota 55925

Dakota MN physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Dakota MN is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research those you are looking at to make certain they will deliver a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Dakota MN physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Dakota MN hospitals, health clinics, 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 earlier stated, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Dakota MN medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Dakota 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 choices, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Dakota MN area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as 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 be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually made available by community colleges, and require two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an important component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Dakota MNAlthough not as common as the on campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Dakota MN residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Dakota MN area and across Minnesota, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Also, you need to be sure that you choose the program that is ideal 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 considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. 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 college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Dakota MN physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Minnesota Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Dakota MN area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also verifies that the college has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you enroll in furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are interested in have relationships with Dakota MN hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner 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 develop professional connections in the Dakota healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely 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 typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with several of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Dakota MN residence. Those who have decided 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 choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you opt to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Dakota MN area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Dakota Minnesota?

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

Dakota County Library

The Dakota County Library system is a regional public library system in Dakota County, Minnesota, headquartered in the Wescott Library in Eagan.[1][2] The system includes 9 branch libraries and shares borrowing privileges with the City of South St. Paul public library. It is a member of MELSA (the Metropolitan Library Service Agency), a consortium of eight Minnesota library systems.

The Dakota County Library System as it exists today is a combination of several smaller library systems. The earliest of these were the Farmington, Minnesota, library, established in 1871 and the Hastings, Minnesota, library, established in 1873. Both were established as subscription libraries, and were relatively short-lived projects, although they paved the way for municipally funded libraries in the early 20th century . The City of South St. Paul, Minnesota, Library was established in 1916. It initially received a $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation, but development of the library was halted due to the outbreak of World War I. In 1926, the library received municipal bond funding in the amount of $25,000 for the establishment of a library building, which opened in August 1927, as the first public library in Dakota County.[3]

Bolstered by the post-World War II influx to suburban areas as well as the passage of the 1956 Congressional Library Services Act,[4] libraries in Dakota County were ready to expand. To maximize resources, the county entered into a partnership with its neighbor to the west, Scott County and in 1959, the Dakota-Scott Regional Library System was formed. Originally operated out of 2 classrooms in a Savage elementary school with 9 people on staff, the system quickly expanded, with the Farmington and Hastings libraries joining by the end of the year. By 1968, the system had opened a new library in Hastings, acquired a 6,000 book capacity bookmobile, purchased land off of County Road 42 in Burnsville, Minnesota for a new branch location and was using a storefront location in Burnsville as a temporary library to help alleviate demand on the other outlets. However, throughout this time, Dakota and Scott County had been growing apart from one another - both in terms of population growth and in their vision for the library's future. As a result, the assets of the collection were divided proportionately to county population and by December 31, 1968, the two-county system was dissolved.[3]

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Dakota MN

Picking the right physical therapy program is a necessary first decision you need to make to begin a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You may decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following 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 achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Dakota MN.

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