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

How to Select a Physical Therapy School near Middleton 53562

Middleton WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapy degree near Middleton WI is an important first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help individuals who have been incapacitated due to injury or illness regain mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they must receive the necessary training and education. A PT must also become licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee hold a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s essential to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will deliver a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you should not do is choose a school simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to location and cost. But before we cover what those qualifications are and the questions you should be asking, we’ll address what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Middleton WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying settings, such as Middleton WI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all share in common is that they have the equipment for the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier touched on, physical therapists help patients that are struggling with a lack of mobility and frequently pain caused by injury or illness. After diagnosing a patient, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists practice in close association with other Middleton WI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, registered nurses and dentists. They may also manage one or more physical therapy assistants who work for them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. Something to bear in mind for anyone thinking about entering the physical therapy profession, it is rather physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees Offered

Middleton WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these options, the single degree that is offered to become 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 brief summaries of degree levels that are available in the Middleton WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The programs are typically provided by community or junior colleges, and require two years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is typically a portion of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are designed as pre-physical therapist education to prep students to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be a candidate for the doctoral program, they are an essential first step to practicing as a PT. As with the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they typically require 4 years to finish and often incorporate an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are required in order to become a licensed practicing physical therapist. The degree program also must 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 commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical training is an essential component along with the extensive lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in several states for licensing also.

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 attainable in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Programs

woman attending physical therapy school online in Middleton WIWhile not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy programs offered, more so at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are combined with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of a sponsored internship. Fortunately, the online part of the curriculum may be accessed within the convenience and comfort of the student’s Middleton WI home. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be significantly less than comparable on-campus options, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits may make the online option the ideal choice for those students that are disciplined enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

At this point you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial queries, like the kind of physical therapy degree you would like to attain, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to invest in your education. But considering there are so many PT schools within the Middleton WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll have to explore other qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of school options. Also, you need to make sure that you pick 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 therapy colleges you are thinking about. Ask each of the competing colleges these questions before making an ultimate selection.

Is the Physical Therapy College Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are considering have received accreditation from a regional or a national 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 enroll in an online school, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s imperative that both the physical therapist school and program you choose are accredited, not just the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Along with guaranteeing that you receive an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the College’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT program’s reputation, beginning with requesting references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also check online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Middleton WI physical therapy centers or other health care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can provide any insight about your school options. It may also be a good idea to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to find out if any complaints have been filed against the schools.

What is the Program’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a two significant statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapist colleges you are considering. First is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students dropped out because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the school’s job placement program, particularly in the Middleton WI area? If a program has a high job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the healthcare community is good or even outstanding. It also verifies that the school has a large network of contacts to assist students obtain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s imperative that the college you select provides both exceptional 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 required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) in addition to a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, many states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed as well as passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Offered? Find out if the physical therapy schools you are reviewing have partnerships with Middleton WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they can assist students and graduates form professional relationships in the Middleton medical community and help with job placement after licensing.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the kind of student that likes to sit far in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a smaller class size. Small classes allow for more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapist schools you are researching what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to sit in on one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you an opportunity to converse with some of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For a number of students, the physical therapist college they choose will need to be within commuting distance of their Middleton WI residence. Those who have decided to attend classes online naturally will not have to trouble themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of importance. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a school that is out of state or perhaps out of your local area, you may have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges normally charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges often charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Provided? The majority of DPT colleges provide some form of financial aid to their potential students. Ask if the schools you are considering 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 grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist schools provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you need to verify that the physical therapy college you ultimately choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially essential if you decide to continue working while you attend classes. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Middleton WI area, make certain that they are available. If you can only attend part-time, check if that is an alternative and how many courses or credit hours you would need to enroll in. Also, find out what the protocol is for making up any classes that you might miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Middleton Wisconsin?

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

Middleton, Wisconsin

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.12 square miles (23.62 km2), of which 8.98 square miles (23.26 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.[1]

Since 1990 there has been a population increase of over 20% in the Madison metropolitan area. This has led to Middleton being considered as the western hub of a proposed, albeit controversial, 13-mile (21 km) railroad corridor connecting Middleton's Greenway Station, the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus, downtown Madison, and Madison's far east side.[7]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 17,442 people, 8,037 households, and 4,453 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,942.3 inhabitants per square mile (749.9/km2). There were 8,565 housing units at an average density of 953.8 per square mile (368.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.1% White, 3.5% African American, 0.3% Native American, 4.2% Asian, 2.3% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapy College near Middleton WI

Choosing the ideal physical therapist college is a necessary initial decision you must make to start a gratifying career in the healthcare profession. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you select should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask regarding your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapy school, keep in mind that many variables will lead you to your final decision. You might decide to go to each of the colleges to view their facilities and talk with current DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this program help me accomplish 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 best choice. And with the necessary education and training, you can achieve your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Middleton WI.

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