Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Eagle River WI

How to Select a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Eagle River 54521

Eagle River WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Eagle River WI is an important first step to beginning a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary education and training. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing standards. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college just because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Eagle River WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Eagle River WI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously touched on, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor 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.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Eagle River WI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone thinking about going into the physical therapy field, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Eagle River WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options available for students to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the single degree that is available to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degrees that are offered in the Eagle River WI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about two years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is usually a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapy education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to complete and commonly incorporate an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed physical therapist. The degree program also must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important component in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment 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 available in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Eagle River WIWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees 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 in proximity of a sponsored internship. However, the online part of the course of study can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Eagle River WI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and expenses for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapy Schools

By now you undoubtedly have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary queries, including the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But since there are numerous PT colleges within the Eagle River WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll have to explore other qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you want to make sure that you pick the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are considering. Ask all of the competing schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering 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 select an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT school’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 several Eagle River WI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any advice about your college 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 School’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two important statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Eagle River WI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies 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) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Inquire if the physical therapist schools you are assessing have relationships with Eagle River WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Eagle River medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that likes to sit far in the back of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will probably prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized 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 sit in on one or more classes before making your final decision. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Eagle River WI home. Individuals who have chosen to attend classes online naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. Something to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you may be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges typically charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges usually charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT schools supply some type of financial support to their potential students. Find out if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. A number of physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Eagle River WI area, make certain 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 need to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Eagle River Wisconsin?

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

Eagle River, Wisconsin

Eagle River is a city in Vilas County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,398 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Vilas County.[7] Because of the many lakes in the area, the city is a popular vacation and retirement destination. The area contains many condominiums, seasonal vacation homes, and hunting cabins.

Eagle River was the site of the first permanent Indian settlement in the Wisconsin Northwoods, located on the shores of Watersmeet Lake where the Wisconsin River and Chain O' Lakes meet. These early Indians, who were called Old Copper Indians, were succeeded by the Woodland Indians from 2,600 B.C. to 800 A.D. These Indians were probably the ancestors of the Chippewa, Potawatomi, and Menominee.[8]

The first recorded white settler in what became Vilas County was a man named Ashman who established a trading post in Lac du Flambeau in 1818.[9] Eagle River's name was derived from the abundance of eagles nesting along the river. It is believed that Bethuel Draper and "Dutch Pete" Cramer camped in the area in 1853 and were responsible for naming the community. A settlement grew as other families settled in the area in 1857. The town of Eagle River was created by an act of the state legislature in 1885. Vilas County was set off from Oneida County on April 12, 1893 and named for William Freeman Vilas, a migrant from Vermont. Vilas had served for Wisconsin in the United States Senate from 1891 to 1897.[10][11] In the 1850s migrants from New England, primarily from Vermont and Connecticut, constructed a number of wagon roads and trails through Vilas County including the Ontonogan Mail Trail and a Military Road from Fort Howard to Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor, Michigan.[9]

Select the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Eagle River WI

Choosing the right physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are other relevant questions that you need to ask pertaining to your school of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapy college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your ultimate decision. You may want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk to current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the field so you can make the best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Eagle River WI.

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