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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Training Program near Birchwood 54817

Birchwood WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Birchwood WI is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated 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 receive the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will provide a superior education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Birchwood WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Birchwood WI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers 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 touched on, physical therapists help patients that are suffering from a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Birchwood WI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to take note of for anyone thinking about 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 prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Birchwood 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 choices, the single degree that is available to become 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 brief explanations of degree levels that are offered in the Birchwood WI area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist education to prepare candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to becoming a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to finish and often include 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Birchwood WIAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Birchwood WI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat less than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Birchwood WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll have to research additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school options. Furthermore, you want to be sure that you choose the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of essential questions that you must ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As earlier stated, 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 college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, check that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting 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 exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Contact several Birchwood WI physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your program options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Birchwood WI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even excellent. It also affirms that the program has a large network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in furnishes both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist program. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are interested in have relationships with Birchwood WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Birchwood medical community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of person that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist school they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Birchwood WI residence. Those who have decided to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT schools supply some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is available. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Birchwood WI area, make sure that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would need to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Birchwood Wisconsin?

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

Birchwood, Wisconsin

Knapp, Stout and Company was a logging company in Northern Wisconsin. Founded in 1846 William Willson brought the company together. The company was originally owned by; William Wilson, Andrew Tainter, John Knapp, and Henry Stout. Knapp, Stout and Co. became the largest lumber company in the world. In 1873 they owned 115,000 acres of pine forests. They put out 55,000,000 ft. of lumber, 20,000,000 shingles, and 20,000,000 lath annually. The company owned six big farms with six, or seven thousand acres of improved land to supply the lumber camps with pork and wheat.[6]

Knapp, Stout, and Co. had a major impact on Northern Wisconsin. The large lumber company brought the SS and Omaha railroads to northern Wisconsin. They also created many logging camps that turned into small towns. Birchwood is located where it is due to the Birch Lake lumber camp, and the crossing of the Soo and the Omaha railroads.[6]

Birchwood WI was platted in 1901. Birchwood was originally named Loomis after Wilbur Loomis, one of the first residents, and the first storekeeper. In 1912 the name was officially changed to Birchwood due to a political argument, and the abundance of birch trees in the area.[7]

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist Degree Program near Birchwood WI

Selecting the best physical therapist program is a necessary initial decision you need to make to launch a gratifying career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist program, bear in mind that numerous factors will guide you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit different schools to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Birchwood WI.

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