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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy College near Mercer 54547

Mercer WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapist degree near Mercer WI is an important first step to launching a fulfilling career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury regain mobility and function. But before they can practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must obtain the appropriate education and training. A PT must also become licensed in every state, many mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to enrolling in a physical therapy school, it’s important to research those you are considering to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing criteria. What you do not want to do is enroll in a college simply because it happens to be the nearest to your home or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to 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 the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Mercer WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, including Mercer WI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all share in common is that they are equipped for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As previously mentioned, physical therapists help people that are suffering from a lack of mobility and in many cases pain due to illness or injury. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility problems and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to stop any advancement 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.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Mercer WI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise several physical therapy assistants who work for them in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to take note of for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and stand, crouch and kneel for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Mercer WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapy degree options offered for students to enroll in 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 target either training students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Below are short descriptions of degree levels that are offered in the Mercer WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to become physical therapy assistants, or may 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 offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. An internship or other form of clinical training is normally a portion of the course of study.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy training to ready students to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an integral preliminary step to practicing as a PT. Similar to most bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 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 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 3 years to finish, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal element in addition to the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Consequently the completion of an internship is mandated, 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 phased out and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the present licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Mercer WIAlthough not as prevalent as the more traditional options, there are some accredited online physical therapy programs available, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Mercer WI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition can be significantly less than similar on campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are minimized. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, guaranteeing a quality education. These benefits can make the online option the best choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Schools

By now you probably have come to decision concerning some of your initial questions, such as the type of physical therapy degree you would like to obtain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But because there are so many PT schools within the Mercer WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll have to explore additional qualifications as well in order to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to make sure that you choose the college that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist schools you are considering. Ask each of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Ask if the schools you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously 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 select an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation may be required for state licensing as well as for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the School’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are a number of ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also search for online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Call several Mercer WI physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any insight about your school options. It may also be prudent to contact the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two relevant statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left due to dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Mercer WI area? If a college has a high job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the health care community is good or perhaps excellent. It also confirms that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment upon graduation.

Does the Program Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you choose provides both exceptional training and a course of study that supports the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing. 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. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PT and PTA graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be performed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Find out if the physical therapy programs you are reviewing have relationships with Mercer WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great manner to receive practical training in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates establish professional relationships in the Mercer healthcare community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that prefers to sit way in the back of the classroom 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 researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. 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 converse with some of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within commuting distance of their Mercer WI home. Students who have opted 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 bear 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 be required to pay a higher tuition. State colleges commonly charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition for those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Aid Provided? The majority of DPT schools provide some form of financial assistance to their potential students. Inquire if the schools you are reviewing have a financial aid office and find out what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships 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, ask what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must confirm that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can offer the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you opt to continue working while attending classes. If you must schedule night or weekend classes in the Mercer WI area, make sure that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, verify if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Mercer Wisconsin?

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

Mercer, Wisconsin

Mercer is a town in southern Iron County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 1,732 at the 2000 census. The census-designated place of Mercer and the unincorporated communities of Carter and Manitowish are located within the town.

Mercer identifies itself as the "Loon Capital of the World" to promote tourism. A wildlife study found Mercer had the highest concentration of common loons in the world. In front of the Mercer Chamber of Commerce's information center, there is a 16-foot (4.9 m), 2,000-pound (910 kg) statue named "Claire de Loon". Mercer also hosts an annual "Loon Day" festival, which features an arts and crafts fair, live music and a loon calling contest.[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 184.8 square miles (478.5 km²), of which 168.0 square miles (435.2 km²) is land and 16.7 square miles (43.3 km²) (9.05%) is water.

Select the Right Physical Therapist College near Mercer WI

Picking the best physical therapist program is an important first decision you have to make to start a fulfilling career in the medical field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and be accredited. But there are additional relevant questions that you should ask pertaining to your school of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy college, keep in mind that many variables will guide you toward your final decision. You may want to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed 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 selection. And with the proper training and education, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a practicing physical therapist in Mercer WI.

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