Physical Therapist Schools | Get Your Physical Therapy Degree – Fond du Lac WI

How to Pick a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Fond du Lac 54935

Fond du Lac WI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapist degree near Fond du Lac WI is an essential first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness gain back mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to receive the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in all states, many requiring that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Fond du Lac WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, including Fond du Lac WI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help people that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they create a course of treatment to resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to stop any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Fond du Lac WI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also manage several physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of 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 patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Fond du Lac WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degree options offered for individuals to pursue 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 emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short summaries of degrees that are offered in the Fond du Lac WI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have earned a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a component of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapy education to ready students to move up to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical training is an important component in addition to the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Degrees

woman attending physical therapy school online in Fond du Lac WIAlthough not as common as the more traditional options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to 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 school campus or nearby a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Fond du Lac WI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly lower than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online option the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your preliminary questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are numerous PT schools within the Fond du Lac WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll have to research additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of college choices. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the program that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapist colleges you are thinking about. Ask all of the competing colleges these questions prior to making a final decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online program, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to 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 College’s Reputation? In addition to accreditation, it’s essential that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call a few Fond du Lac WI physical therapy centers or other healthcare facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any recommendations about your school options. It may also be a good idea to contact the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the School’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might 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 school’s job placement program, particularly in the Fond du Lac WI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care field is good or even outstanding. It also confirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the program you select furnishes both excellent training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing criteria for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. Although licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internships Offered? Ask if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have partnerships with Fond du Lac WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent way to receive hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Fond du Lac medical community and help 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 hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly 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 typical student to teacher ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you an opportunity to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy school they decide on will need to be within commuting distance of their Fond du Lac WI residence. Individuals 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 concern. Something to bear 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 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 Provided? Most DPT colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are considering have a financial assistance office and see what type of aid is obtainable. They at least 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 too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can furnish the class schedule you need. This is particularly important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule night or weekend classes in the Fond du Lac WI area, verify that they are available. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify 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 might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Fond du Lac Wisconsin?

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

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Fond du Lac is a city in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 43,021 at the 2010 census. The city forms the core of the United States Census Bureau's Fond du Lac Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Fond du Lac County (2000 population: 97,296). Fond du Lac is the 342nd largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in the United States. The Fond du Lac MSA and the Beaver Dam (city), Wisconsin Micropolitan Statistical Area, form the larger Fond du Lac-Beaver Dam Combined Statistical Area.

Native American tribes, primarily the Winnebagos but also the Potawatomi, Kickapoo, and Mascoutin lived or gathered in the area long before European explorers arrived. Although the identity of the first white man to explore the southern end of Lake Winnebago is uncertain, it was probably Claude-Jean Allouez, followed by French fur trappers.[10]

James Doty, a federal judge for the western part of the Michigan Territory, thought the land at the foot of Lake Winnebago might be a good location for a city, so he and his partners bought land in the area. In 1836, during the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, John Arndt proposed making Fond du Lac the new capital.[11] The motion failed, and Doty convinced the legislature to choose Madison instead.

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Fond du Lac WI

Selecting the right physical therapy school is an important initial decision you need to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your college of choice also. As you commence your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit different schools to see their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me realize my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By following our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Fond du Lac WI.

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