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

How to Pick a Physical Therapist Degree Program near Jefferson 53549

Jefferson WI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapy degree near Jefferson WI is an important first step to beginning a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the appropriate training and education. A PT must additionally become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research those you are considering to make sure they will supply a quality 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 closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and what the educational options are.

What Does a Physical Therapist Do?

Jefferson WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, including Jefferson WI private practices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As previously stated, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and often pain caused by illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they design a program of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also try to stop any advancement of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Jefferson WI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They can also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something 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 kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Jefferson WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these choices, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Jefferson WI area:

  • Associate Degrees prepare students to be physical therapy assistants, or may 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 programs are most often offered by junior or community colleges, and require 2 years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is normally a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to prepare students to advance to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to becoming a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they generally require 4 years to complete and often include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program must also be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to complete, making the total investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the substantial classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is required, not solely for graduation but in a number of 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 eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Jefferson WIAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are combined with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near 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 Jefferson WI home. Online programs are not only to some extent more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition can 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 option the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

What to Ask Physical Therapy Programs

By now you most likely have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you intend to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Jefferson WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications also so as to further reduce your list of school options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you pick the college that is best for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national organization. As previously stated, 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 school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial assistance.

What is the School’s Reputation? Along with accreditation, it’s important that the college and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist community. There are several ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they refer their students to. You may also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Contact several Jefferson WI physical therapist clinics or other health care facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your program selections. It may also be prudent to contact the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of significant statistics that you should know about all of the physical therapy programs you are looking at. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may suggest that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction 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 Jefferson WI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even outstanding. It also affirms that the school has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both exceptional training and a course of study that satisfies the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist school. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PT and PTA graduates, many states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Sponsored? Find out if the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing have partnerships with Jefferson WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Not only are internships an excellent way to get practical experience in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a secondary benefit, they may help students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Jefferson medical community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will likely prefer a smaller 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 monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate decision. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program as well.

Where is the College Located? For many students, the physical therapy school they pick will need to be within driving distance of their Jefferson WI home. Individuals who have decided to attend classes online obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to consider is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might need to pay a higher tuition. State colleges generally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges commonly charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges supply some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are examining have a financial aid department and see what kind of help is offered. They at least should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. A number of physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a program because the tuition is beyond your budget, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Jefferson WI area, make certain that they are available. 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 carry. Also, ask what the procedure is for making up any classes that you may miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Jefferson Wisconsin?

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

Jefferson, Wisconsin

Jefferson is a city in Jefferson County, Wisconsin, United States, and is its county seat. It is at the confluence of the Rock and Crawfish rivers. The population was 7,973 at the 2010 census.[6] The city is partially bordered by the Town of Jefferson.

Jefferson's location was selected to make use of the water power and transportation opportunities offered by the Rock River. It was the furthest point a steamboat could navigate the Rock in 1839.[7] Later bridges built downstream prevented such navigation.

Jefferson's founders were settlers from New England, particularly Connecticut, rural Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, as well some from upstate New York born to parents who had migrated there from New England shortly after the American Revolution. These people were "Yankees" descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal as well as the end of the Black Hawk War.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy School near Jefferson WI

Deciding on the ideal physical therapist school is a necessary first decision you have to make to start a gratifying career in the health care profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy program, keep in mind that numerous factors will guide you to your final decision. You might want to visit different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important 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 have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Jefferson WI.

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