Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Athens WI

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Degree Program near Athens 54411

Athens WI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Athens WI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must also be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are thinking about to make certain they will provide a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Athens WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Athens WI 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Athens WI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Athens WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Athens WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are usually provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prep students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an intregal component along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in some 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 United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Athens WIWhile not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online portion of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Athens WI home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition can be somewhat lower than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring 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.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like 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 invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Athens WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you choose the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Call a few Athens WI physical therapist centers or other medical care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It may also be prudent to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Athens WI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to help students obtain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Athens WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Athens healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Athens WI residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are looking at have a financial aid office and see what type of assistance is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Athens WI area, make certain 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, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Athens Wisconsin?

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

Athens, Wisconsin

Athens is located at 45°1′58″N 90°4′35″W / 45.03278°N 90.07639°W / 45.03278; -90.07639 (45.032641, -90.076442).[7] Athens is almost halfway between the Equator and North Pole, as well as almost halfway between the Prime Meridian and 180th meridian. The Athens area is primarily agricultural with a small industrial park on the south side of the village limits.

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 1,105 people, 471 households, and 298 families residing in the village. The population density was 449.2 inhabitants per square mile (173.4/km2). There were 503 housing units at an average density of 204.5 per square mile (79.0/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.2% White, 0.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 2.4% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.9% of the population.

There were 471 households of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.7% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.96.

Select the Best Physical Therapist College near Athens WI

Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the best selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Athens WI.

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