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

How to Select a Physical Therapist Training Program near Lowell 53557

Lowell WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Lowell WI is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been disabled as a result of injury or illness regain function and mobility. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to acquire the proper education and training. 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 choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are thinking about to make sure they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing criteria. 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 significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Lowell WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Lowell WI private practices, hospitals, assisted living facilities, rehab centers and sports facilities. 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 suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After diagnosing a patient, they design a course of treatment to address the mobility issues and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also strive to stop any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability requiring physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Lowell WI medical professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also supervise 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 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 Therapist Degree Options

Lowell 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 alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to become a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees target either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or prepping them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Lowell WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Candidates must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are most often provided by junior or community colleges, and take about two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship 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 required to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they generally take 4 years to finish and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 finish, making the overall investment of time seven years in the majority of cases. Practical or clinical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Consequently the fulfillment of an internship is required, not just 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 attainable in the United States. Some licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Lowell WIAlthough not as common as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live close to the college campus or nearby an available internship. However, the online portion of the program can be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Lowell WI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more economical. Tuition may be somewhat lower than similar on-campus options, and costs for commuting are minimized. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online alternative the ideal choice for those students that are motivated enough to learn at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision concerning a few of your initial questions, including the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are so many PT colleges within the Lowell WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to look into other qualifications also in order to further reduce your list of college choices. Also, you want to make certain that you enroll in the school that is right for you. That’s why we have collected a list of important questions that you need to ask the physical therapist schools you are reviewing. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions prior to making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapist School Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As earlier 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 may also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapy school and program you choose are accredited, not simply the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to 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? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you select have exceptional reputations within the physical therapy community. There are multiple ways you can look into a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Lowell WI physical therapy clinics or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any advice about your college 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 Program’s Job Placement Rate? There are a two significant statistics that you should find out about all of the physical therapist schools you are looking at. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the instructors, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the support of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Lowell WI area? If a college has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the health care community is good or even exceptional. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements 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 therapy college. Although licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are assessing have partnerships with Lowell WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Not only are internships a terrific manner to obtain practical training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Lowell healthcare community and assist with obtaining employment after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of student that prefers to sit far in the back of the classroom or hide in the crowd, you will probably prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapist colleges you are researching what the typical 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 a chance to speak with several of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy technician program also.

Where is the College Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within travelling distance of their Lowell WI residence. Individuals who have chosen to attend online classes obviously will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. Something to bear in mind is that if you choose 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 usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges typically charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Most DPT colleges provide some form of financial assistance to their prospective students. Inquire if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what kind of assistance is offered. They at least should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may qualify for. Some physical therapist colleges offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a school because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must verify that the physical therapy school you finally choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially crucial if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Lowell WI area, verify that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an option 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 may miss because of illness, work or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Lowell Wisconsin?

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

Lowell, Wisconsin

According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 1.05 square miles (2.72 km2), of which, 1.00 square mile (2.59 km2) of it is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.[1]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 340 people, 136 households, and 89 families residing in the village. The population density was 340.0 inhabitants per square mile (131.3/km2). There were 163 housing units at an average density of 163.0 per square mile (62.9/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 99.4% White, 0.3% African American, and 0.3% Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.

There were 136 households of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.6% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.06.

Enroll in the Ideal Physical Therapy Degree Program near Lowell WI

Selecting the ideal physical therapy college is a necessary initial decision you have to make to begin a fulfilling career in the medical profession. As we have addressed in this article, the PT or DPT degree program and college you choose should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask concerning your school of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, keep in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your ultimate decision. You might decide to go to each of the schools to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this school help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 choice. And with the necessary training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Lowell WI.

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