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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Blair 54616

Blair WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Blair WI is a critical first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are considering to ensure they will provide a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is choose a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Blair WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Blair WI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and often pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Blair WI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about getting into 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 Therapy Degrees

Blair WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees offered for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one 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 progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degree levels that are available in the Blair WI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become 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 equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually provided by junior or community colleges, and require two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important component in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Blair WIWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Blair WI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have made a decision concerning several of your initial queries, including the type of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Blair WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll have to look into additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college options. Also, you need to make certain that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing schools these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are looking at have received accreditation from a national or a regional agency. As previously 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 school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist program and school you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Blair WI physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program options. It might also be a good idea to contact the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Blair WI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you select provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports the licensing criteria 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internships Sponsored? Ask if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Blair WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they can assist graduates and students form professional relationships in the Blair healthcare community and help with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit far in the rear of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will likely want 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 teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapist college they pick will need to be within travelling distance of their Blair WI home. Students who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges often charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Blair WI area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Blair Wisconsin?

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

Blair, Wisconsin

The city was first settled during the 1850s. The majority of the city's population are descended from Norwegian settlers, with a smaller group descended from German settlers. The city's Norwegian heritage is represented by annual lefse and lutefisk suppers at the churches and a love of polka music. A lefse company is located in Blair.[6]

The city's name was changed from Porterville in 1873 when the Green Bay and Western Railroad was routed through the city. The new name of Blair came from one of the railroad's chief investors, John Insley Blair. At one time, during the heyday of railroads, a branch line connected the GB&W with the nearby city of Ettrick (although it was later abandoned). The railroad continues to operate, although under a different name.[7]

The city has avoided the fate of some small towns in the Midwest which slowly lost population due to young people leaving for jobs elsewhere. The population of Blair nearly doubled in the years between 1950 and 2000. During the 1950s and earlier annual floods during the snow melt were often experienced, but better farming techniques now make flooding rare. More recently, a number of Amish farming families have settled in the area and their horse-drawn carriages are sometimes seen on the roads.[citation needed]

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Blair WI

Deciding on the best physical therapist college is an important initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the healthcare profession. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to see their facilities and talk to active 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 supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Blair WI.

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