How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Willow Springs 60480
Receiving a physical therapy degree near Willow Springs IL is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are considering to make certain they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing standards. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to 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 what the educational options are.
What Does a Physical Therapist Do?
Physical therapists practice in varying locations, including Willow Springs IL private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are suffering from 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 strive to stop any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:
- Osteoporosis and Arthritis
- Car or motor cycle accidents
- Cardiac arrest.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
- Fire injuries.
- Hip Replacement.
- Cerebral Palsy.
Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Willow Springs IL health professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.
Physical Therapist Degree Options
There are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is offered to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Willow Springs IL area:
- Associate Degrees educate students to practice as 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
- Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
- Doctorate Degrees are required 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.
Physical Therapy Degrees Online
While not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Willow Springs IL residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.
Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges
At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the type of physical therapist degree you want to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Willow Springs IL area and across Illinois, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to make certain that you select the program that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.
Is the Physical Therapy School Accredited? Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 select an online college, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.
What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’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 agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Willow Springs IL physical therapy clinics or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Illinois Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.
What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two useful statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of displeasure with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Willow Springs IL area? If a school has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.
Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional tests.
Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have relationships with Willow Springs IL 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 secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Willow Springs healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.
How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges 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 final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program also.
Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Willow Springs IL residence. Individuals who have decided 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 concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically 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 Support Provided? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants 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 beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.
Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Willow Springs IL area, check that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.
Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Willow Springs Illinois?
If you are planning on attending a Physical Therapy School in the Willow Springs IL area, the following information may prove to be both interesting and educational regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Willow Springs, Illinois
According to the 2010 census, Willow Springs has a total area of 4.116 square miles (10.66 km2), of which 4.01 square miles (10.39 km2) (or 97.42%) is land and 0.106 square miles (0.27 km2) (or 2.58%) is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,027 people, 1,948 households, and 1,381 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,299.8 people per square mile (501.5/km²). There were 1,991 housing units at an average density of 514.8 per square mile (198.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 93.91% White, 0.72% African American, 0.12% Native American, 1.85% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.07% from other races, and 2.31% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.05% of the population.
There were 1,948 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.12.
Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist School near Willow Springs IL
Selecting the right physical therapist program is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other critical questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different campuses to see their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach 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 field so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Willow Springs IL.
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