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

How to Find the Right Physical Therapy Program near Colby 54421

Colby WI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Colby WI is an essential first step to beginning a rewarding career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate the ones you are considering to make certain they will furnish a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Colby WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Colby WI private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped 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 diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce 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.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close affiliation with other Colby WI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degree Options

Colby WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options available for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the only degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Colby WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep candidates to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually incorporate 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most 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 required, not just for graduation but in several 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 holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Colby WIAlthough not as prevalent as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy programs offered, even more 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 requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Colby WI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you most likely have made a decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Colby WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you want to make certain that you pick the school that is best for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctoral degree the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online school, it can also obtain 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. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT college’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 as well. Contact a few Colby WI physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program selections. It might also be a good idea to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Colby WI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to help students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you choose furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on additional exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist programs you are assessing have relationships with Colby WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to receive practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Colby health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of student that likes to sit far in the rear of class or hide in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy schools you are reviewing what the typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer 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 a number of students, the physical therapist school they pick will have to be within driving distance of their Colby WI home. Students who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of importance. Something to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges generally charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Aid Offered? The majority of DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and find out what kind of aid is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Colby WI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Colby Wisconsin?

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

Colby, Wisconsin

Colby is a city in Clark and Marathon counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. It is part of the Wausau, Wisconsin Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,852 at the 2010 census.[6] Of this, 1,354 were in Clark County, and 498 were in Marathon County. The city is bordered by the Town of Colby, the Town of Hull, and the City of Abbotsford.

When the Wisconsin Central Railroad was building its line through the wilderness heading toward Lake Superior, it finished its 1872 construction season with rails completed to the site of today's Colby. The place was initially called "Section 53," but the railroad renamed the station in honor of Charles L. Colby, partner in the construction company that was building the railroad, and the son of the railroad's financier Gardner L. Colby.[7]

Colby is the birthplace of Colby cheese. A historical marker in downtown Colby commemorates the development of Colby cheese by Joseph Steinwand in 1874.[8] Colby cheese is no longer made in the city of Colby, although a factory east of town cuts and packages it. The former Colby cheese factory west of the city is a dilapitated building.

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Degree Program near Colby WI

Choosing the ideal physical therapy school is an important initial decision you must make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you select should both have excellent reputations and be accredited. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may decide to visit different schools to view their facilities and speak with 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 be able to narrow down the field so you can make the right choice. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Colby WI.

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