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

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Coloma 54930

Coloma WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Coloma WI is a critical first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been disabled due to injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will deliver a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is enroll in a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that must 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 the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Coloma WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Coloma WI hospitals, health clinics, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Coloma WI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating 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 heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Coloma WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapist degree options available for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are available in the Coloma WI area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to advance to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an essential preliminary step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take four years to complete and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement if you want to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal element along with the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 attainable in the USA. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Coloma WIWhile not as common as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Coloma WI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more economical. Tuition might be somewhat less than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Coloma WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Also, you need to make sure that you enroll in the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges 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 choose an online school, it may also earn 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 just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with a few Coloma 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 selections. It might also be prudent 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 Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of significant statistics that you need to find out about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A low rate may suggest that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Coloma WI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps outstanding. It also affirms that the college has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select provides both superior training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internships Provided? Ask if the physical therapy schools you are evaluating have partnerships with Coloma WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Coloma healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost 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 looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within commuting distance of their Coloma WI home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local 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 might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges normally charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT colleges offer some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance department and see what kind of aid is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is too expensive, ask what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Coloma WI area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would have to enroll in. Also, learn what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Coloma Wisconsin?

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

Coloma, Wisconsin

The Coloma area was first settled in 1849 by John Drake and a man named Stowe. Stowe stole lumber Drake left in the area when Drake had to leave due to a family illness. Stowe built a tavern with the timber, leaving Drake to build his tavern out of rough hewn logs.[6]

By 1875, the area was known as Ross Corners, after the local postmaster. A railroad between Stevens Point and Portage was soon built, coming through four miles to the east at a spot called Coloma Station. The post office was moved from Ross Corners to Coloma Station, and Ross Corners soon became known as Coloma Corners.[6]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 450 people, 184 households, and 120 families residing in the village. The population density was 308.2 inhabitants per square mile (119.0/km2). There were 214 housing units at an average density of 146.6 per square mile (56.6/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 100.0% White. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

Select the Best Physical Therapist Degree Program near Coloma WI

Choosing the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you decide on should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that a number of variables will guide you to your final decision. You may want to go to different schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Coloma WI.

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