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Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Wakefield NE

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Wakefield 68784

Wakefield NE physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Wakefield NE is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Wakefield NE physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of locations, such as Wakefield NE hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also try to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Wakefield NE medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Wakefield NE physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Wakefield NE area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing also.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Wakefield NEWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more 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 part of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Wakefield NE residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more economical. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, such as the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Wakefield NE area and across Nebraska, you’ll have to research other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you choose the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides 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 School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you choose have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Wakefield NE physical therapist centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any advice about your school options. It might also be prudent to check with the Nebraska Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left because of displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Wakefield NE area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Nebraska or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have partnerships with Wakefield NE hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist graduates and students develop professional connections in the Wakefield medical community and assist with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they pick will need to be within commuting distance of their Wakefield NE home. Students who have opted 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 bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are looking at have a financial assistance department and see what kind of help is available. At a minimum they should help in securing a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Wakefield NE area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Wakefield Nebraska?

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

Wakefield, Nebraska

Wakefield had its start in the year 1881 by the building of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway through that territory.[5] It was named for L. W. Wakefield, a railroad engineer.[6] Wakefield was incorporated in 1883.[7]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 1,451 people, 534 households, and 352 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,667.8 inhabitants per square mile (643.9/km2). There were 575 housing units at an average density of 660.9 per square mile (255.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.6% White, 0.4% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 21.4% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.6% of the population.

There were 534 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.1% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.23.

Pick the Right Physical Therapy School near Wakefield NE

Selecting the ideal physical therapy program is an important initial decision you must make to launch a gratifying career in the healthcare field. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that many factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Wakefield NE.

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