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

How to Select a Physical Therapist College near Newton 53063

Newton WI physical therapy school student with volunteerReceiving a physical therapy degree near Newton WI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated as a result of illness or injury gain back mobility and function. 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 college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s essential to research the ones you are looking at to make certain they will provide a quality education and comply with your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college just because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other important qualifications that must be evaluated besides cost and location. But before we discuss what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What Do Physical Therapists Do?

Newton WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in varying locations, such as Newton WI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and sports facilities. What the facilities all have in common is that they are equipped for diagnosing and rehabilitating 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 patient diagnosis, they create a program of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and reduce or eradicate any pain. They also strive to prevent any progression of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

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

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Newton WI health professionals, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. 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 considering going into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists regularly lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees Available

Newton WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degrees available for individuals to enroll in at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these choices, the only 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 progress to the doctoral level. Following are short explanations of degrees that are available in the Newton WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or may be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are most often offered by community colleges, and take about 2 years for completion. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually part of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are created as pre-physical therapist training to prepare candidates to progress to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important initial step to practicing as a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they normally take 4 years to finish and often include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are a requirement 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). In addition to the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes three years to finish, making the overall investment of time 7 years in most cases. Practical or clinical training is an important element along with the considerable classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is mandated, not only for graduation but in a number of states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been eliminated and is no longer offered in the United States. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or in some cases a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in before the existing licensing mandate for a doctorate was implemented.

Physical Therapy Online Colleges

woman attending physical therapy school online in Newton WIAlthough not as common as the on campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on structure of the training, internships and clinical lab work are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live close to the school campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online portion of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Newton WI home. Online schools are not only to some extent more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online alternative the best choice for those students that are dedicated enough to attend classes at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

At this point you most likely have made a decision concerning several of your initial questions, like the type of physical therapy degree you would like to earn, where you want to attend classes, and how much you can afford to spend for your education. But since there are so many PT colleges within the Newton WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to research additional qualifications as well so as to further reduce your list of school options. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you choose the school that is ideal for you. That’s why we have put together 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 decision.

Is the Physical Therapist College Accredited?  Ask if the colleges you are considering have earned accreditation from a national or a regional 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 choose an online college, it may also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist school and program you select are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? In addition to accreditation, it’s important that the school and program you pick have outstanding reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can research a PT school’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You can also search for online reviews and rating services and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Contact a few Newton WI physical therapist clinics or other healthcare facilities that you might be interested in working for and ask if they can provide any recommendations about your college selections. It might also be prudent to check with the Wisconsin Attorney General and school licensing authority to see if any complaints have been submitted against the colleges.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of important statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy schools you are reviewing. First is their graduation rate. A low rate might indicate that students left because of dissatisfaction with the program, the teachers, or both. After the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being placed in jobs with the help of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Newton WI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it’s an indication that its reputation within the medical care community is good or even excellent. It also verifies that the program has a wide network of contacts to assist students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the Program Prepare You For Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the college you select furnishes both excellent training and a curriculum that satisfies the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working. In every state a passing score is needed on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. While licensing requirements vary state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum number of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Offered? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have associations with Newton WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a great way to get hands on experience in a clinical environment, they are also a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they can assist students and graduates develop professional relationships in the Newton healthcare community and assist with job placement after licensing.

How Big are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the back of class or hide in the crowd, you will undoubtedly want a smaller class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are researching what the average teacher to student ratio is for their classes. If practical you may prefer to monitor one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with a few of the students and instructors to get their perspectives regarding the pharmacy tech program also.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapy college they decide on will need to be within driving distance of their Newton WI home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes naturally will not have to worry themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of area internships will be of concern. One thing to keep in mind is that if you choose to enroll in a program 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 normally charge a higher tuition to those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Help Provided? The majority of DPT schools offer some form of financial support to their potential students. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial assistance department and see what type of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in acquiring a student loan or any grants you might qualify for. Some physical therapy schools offer scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial aid might be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And finally you must verify that the physical therapy school you ultimately select can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you must schedule evening or weekend classes in the Newton WI area, make certain that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative 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 might miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Newton Wisconsin?

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

Newton, Wisconsin

Choose the Ideal Physical Therapy College near Newton WI

Picking the best physical therapist college is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the health care field. As we have covered in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and college you pick should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. However there are additional relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you commence your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that numerous variables will guide you toward your final decision. You might decide to go to different colleges to view their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me reach my goal of becoming a licensed practicing physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the right selection. And with the proper education and training, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Newton WI.

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