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

How to Choose a Physical Therapist College near Columbus 53925

Columbus WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Columbus WI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they must acquire the proper training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, many mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s necessary to evaluate those you are looking at to make sure they will supply a superior education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a school simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered besides location and cost. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Columbus WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in diverse settings, including Columbus WI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help individuals that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. 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 prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close partnerships with other Columbus WI medical professionals, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also oversee several physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for prolonged periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Columbus WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options available for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these options, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief explanations of degrees that are available in the Columbus WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want to become a licensed practicing 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 finish, making the total investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only 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 available in the United States. A number of practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Columbus WIAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are some accredited online physical therapist programs available, 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 requires that the student live close to the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Columbus WI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be significantly less than similar on campus options, and expenses for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you undoubtedly have come to decision concerning several of your preliminary queries, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are numerous PT schools within the Columbus WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll need to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you need to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of essential questions that you need to ask the physical therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 select an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to guaranteeing that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you select have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with some Columbus WI physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college selections. It might also be a good idea 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 should know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, how many of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Columbus WI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the college has a wide network of contacts to help students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy programs you are interested in have partnerships with Columbus WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Columbus health care community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a small class size. Smaller classes enable more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing what the average student to teacher ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they select will have to be within driving distance of their Columbus 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. One thing to consider 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 commonly 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 Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial support to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any scholarships you might be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapist program you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Columbus WI area, check that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Columbus Wisconsin?

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

Columbus, Wisconsin

Columbus is a city in Columbia (mostly) and Dodge Counties in the south-central part of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The population was 4,991 at the 2010 census. All of this population resided in the Columbia County portion of the city. Columbus is located about 28 miles (45 km) northeast of Madison on the Crawfish River. It is part of the Madison Metropolitan Statistical Area. Nearly all of the city is located within the town of Columbus in Columbia County, though a small portion lies within the town of Elba in Dodge County.

H. A. Whitney, a Yankee peddler from Vermont, moved to Columbus in 1845 and constructed the first wood frame store building in the community on the land where the Whitney now stands. The building served as a combination store/tavern/rooming house and post office, with Whitney as the first postmaster. In 1857, the building burned down and was replaced by the current Whitney Hotel in 1858. This cream brick, Italianate-style hotel's third floor ballroom was heated by six wood-burning stoves. The local newspaper reported on a ball there in 1863, "if you ever hear of a ball by Fuller, ask no questions, but go at once, and enjoy yourselves, and for one night forget the 'fear of the draft'".

During the 1880s, The Whitney hosted traveling health practitioners whose expertise ranged from "delivering a 40-foot long tape worm" to a local couple to curing piles. Near the turn of the 20th century, the ballroom was turned into an apartment, and from then on served as commercial, professional, and apartment space.

Pick the Right Physical Therapist Training Program near Columbus WI

Picking the ideal physical therapy program is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a rewarding career in the health care profession. As we have covered in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and be accredited. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your school of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapy school, bear in mind that numerous variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might want to visit each of the campuses to view their facilities and talk with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school 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 options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can accomplish your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Columbus WI.

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