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

How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Downsville 54735

Downsville WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Downsville WI is an essential first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, a large number requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are thinking about to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Downsville WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Downsville 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 stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they create a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Downsville WI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also oversee one or more 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 getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

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

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to become 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 degrees are usually offered by junior or community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement 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 normally require four years to complete and commonly include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required if you want to become a practicing licensed 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 3 years to complete, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has taken the place of the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer available 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 present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Downsville WIAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the college campus or nearby a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Downsville WI residence. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat lower than comparable on campus alternatives, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding some of your preliminary questions, including 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 because there are so many PT colleges within the Downsville WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of school options. Also, you need to make certain that you select the program that is right for you. That’s the reason we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are thinking about. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the schools 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 choose an online program, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy school and program you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with several Downsville WI physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your school 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 Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might 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 hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Downsville WI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students gain internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the program you enroll in furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that supports the licensing criteria 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapy program. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have relationships with Downsville WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to receive hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may assist graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Downsville healthcare community and assist with job placement once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are looking at what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with a few of the instructors and students to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapy college they decide on will have to be within commuting distance of their Downsville WI residence. Students who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area 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 perhaps out of your local area, you might be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally 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 offer some type of financial assistance to their potential students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and find out what type of help is obtainable. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. A number of physical therapy colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you ultimately pick can offer the class schedule you need. This is particularly essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Downsville WI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, find out if that is an option 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 may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Downsville Wisconsin?

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

Downsville, Wisconsin

Downsville is an unincorporated census-designated place in the town of Dunn, in Dunn County, Wisconsin, United States.[1][2] The community was founded at a crossing of the Red Cedar River in 1855. As of the 2010 census, its population was 146.[3]

Pick the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Downsville WI

Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you must make to begin a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you enroll in should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other critical questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of factors will lead you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different colleges to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this school help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the appropriate selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Downsville WI.

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