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

How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Freedom 54131

Freedom WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Freedom WI is an important first step to starting a fulfilling career in the medical care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of illness or injury regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the necessary training and education. A PT must also 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 research those you are considering to make certain they will deliver a quality education and satisfy your state’s licensing criteria. What you should not do is select a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that need to be considered besides cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Freedom WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Freedom WI private practices, hospitals, 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and often pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Freedom WI medical specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Offered

Freedom WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the only degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are brief descriptions of degree levels that are available in the Freedom WI area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are most often provided by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an integral first step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally take four years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated 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 three years to finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just for graduation but in some states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer attainable in the USA. Some licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Schools

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

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Programs

At this point you most likely have come to decision regarding a few of your initial questions, including the type of physical therapy degree you want to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT schools within the Freedom WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll need to look into other qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of school choices. Also, you need to be sure that you select the college that is right for you. That’s the reason we have put together a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the programs you are reviewing have received accreditation from a national or a regional organization. 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 select an online school, it may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist program and school you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy community. There are several ways you can look into a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Freedom WI physical therapist centers or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any advice 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 submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist programs you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students dropped out due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, how many of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Freedom WI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also confirms that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you select furnishes both superior training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing criteria 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 therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are assessing have relationships with Freedom WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific means to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional relationships in the Freedom medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely want a small class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student 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 some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the College Located? For a number of students, the physical therapy college they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Freedom WI home. Those who have chosen to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps 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 frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Support Offered? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Ask if the schools you are considering have a financial aid department and find out what kind of assistance is obtainable. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools provide scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial assistance might be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you opt to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Freedom WI area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an option and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, ask what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to illness, work or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Freedom Wisconsin?

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

Freedom, Wisconsin

Pick the Best Physical Therapy Training Program near Freedom WI

Deciding on the best physical therapy college is an important first decision you need to make to start a rewarding career in the medical field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. But there are additional important questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you start your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you to your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with current 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 adhering to our list of additional questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the appropriate choice. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Freedom WI.

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