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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapy Training Program near Clayton 54004

Clayton WI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Clayton WI is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the proper training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number requiring that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a school just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Clayton WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in diverse locations, such as Clayton 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 diagnosing and rehabilitating 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 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:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Clayton WI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

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

  • Associate Degrees train students to be 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 qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community colleges, and take about two years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require four years to finish and usually incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 commitment seven years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an essential component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. 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 instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

woman attending physical therapy school online in Clayton WIAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are some accredited online physical therapy degrees offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the program may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Clayton WI residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are motivated 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, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Clayton WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you enroll in the college that is ideal for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are reviewing have received accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously stated, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree 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 receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you obtain a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Clayton WI physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your program options. 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two relevant statistics that you should find out about each of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, 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 Clayton WI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the program has a large network of contacts to assist students gain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Clayton WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional connections in the Clayton health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? 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 prefer a smaller class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are considering what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to converse with some of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Clayton WI home. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to consider is that if you decide 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 generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT colleges provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial aid office and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist school you finally select can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you choose to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Clayton WI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Clayton Wisconsin?

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

Clayton, Wisconsin

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapist College near Clayton WI

Choosing the right physical therapist college is an important first decision you need to make to launch a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick 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 commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Clayton WI.

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