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

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Bristol 53104

Bristol WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Bristol WI is an important first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled due to 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 receive the proper training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many mandating 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 looking at to make certain they will furnish a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we cover 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 Do Physical Therapists Do?

Bristol WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in a variety of settings, including Bristol WI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain caused by injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Bristol WI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degree Options

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

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally part of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not required to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and usually incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Bristol WIAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist degrees offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Bristol WI residence. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. 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 dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

By now you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Bristol WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll have to research other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the college that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering. Ask each of the competing schools these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 select an online school, it may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you pick have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are a number of ways you can look into a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Bristol WI physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your program 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 couple of significant statistics that you need to know about each of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate may mean that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Bristol WI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the School Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both excellent 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 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 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 Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have associations with Bristol WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a great manner to obtain hands on experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional connections in the Bristol medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you a chance to speak with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they choose will need to be within driving distance of their Bristol WI home. Those who have opted to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Offered? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what kind of aid is available. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy college you finally pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you choose to continue working while you attend classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Bristol WI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, verify if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Bristol Wisconsin?

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

Bristol, Wisconsin

Enroll in the Right Physical Therapy Training Program near Bristol WI

Picking the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to begin a rewarding 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 additional critical questions that you need to ask regarding your school of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical 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 options so you can make the right choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Bristol WI.

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