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

How to Enroll In a Physical Therapist Program near Oakdale 54649

Oakdale WI physical therapy school student with volunteerObtaining a physical therapist degree near Oakdale WI is a critical first step to launching a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. Physical therapists (PT) help people who have been incapacitated due to illness or injury gain back mobility and function. But before they may legally practice and provide treatment for the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the proper education and training. A PT must also be licensed in every state, a large number mandating that the licensee earn a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So before choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to evaluate the ones you are thinking about to make certain they will furnish a superior education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college just because it happens to be the closest to your home or it has the most affordable tuition. There are other relevant qualifications that need to be considered in addition to cost and location. 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?

Oakdale WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying locations, including Oakdale WI private practices, hospitals, 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 previously mentioned, physical therapists help individuals that are experiencing 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 resolve the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. Though the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Arthritis or Osteoporosis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
  • Fire injuries.
  • Hip Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close association with other Oakdale WI medical specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also oversee one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. One thing to keep in mind for anyone considering going into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists routinely lift heavy equipment as well as patients, and stand, crouch and kneel for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Oakdale WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for students to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is available to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees focus on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to progress to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degree levels that are offered in the Oakdale WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to be physical therapy assistants, or can be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are typically provided by community colleges, and require two years to complete. Clinical training, which may be in the form of an internship is usually a component of the curriculum.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapy education to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be eligible for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to becoming a PT. As with most bachelor’s degrees, they typically take 4 years to complete and usually include an internship program of at least 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated if you want 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 3 years to finish, making the overall commitment seven years in most cases. Clinical or practical training is an intregal component in addition to the considerable lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is required, not only 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 available in the United States. Some practicing physical therapists holding a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Colleges Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Oakdale WIAlthough not as prevalent as the on-campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapy degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, clinical lab work and internships are incorporated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the college campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online segment of the course of study may be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oakdale WI residence. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of instances more affordable. Tuition might be somewhat lower than similar on campus options, and costs for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online schools are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These benefits can make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are dedicated enough to learn at home.

Questions to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision regarding several of your initial questions, such as the kind of physical therapy degree you want to obtain, where you want to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But because there are so many PT colleges within the Oakdale WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to look into additional qualifications also so as to further narrow your list of college options. Moreover, you need to be sure that you select the program that is best for you. That’s why we have compiled a list of critical questions that you must ask the physical therapist colleges you are reviewing. Ask all of the potential schools these questions prior to making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Find out if the schools you are looking at have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 enroll in an online college, it can also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapist program and school you enroll in are accredited, not simply the school. Additionally, make sure that the accreditation is from a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides guaranteeing that you obtain an excellent education, accreditation might be mandated for state licensing and even for securing student loans or financial assistance.

What is the Program’s Standing? Along with accreditation, it’s imperative that the school and program you select have outstanding reputations within the physical therapy profession. There are several ways you can research a PT program’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they place their graduates with. You may also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Get in touch with some Oakdale WI physical therapy clinics or other healthcare facilities that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations 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 submitted against the schools.

What is the College’s Job Placement Rate? There are a couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy programs you are reviewing. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate may indicate that students left due to displeasure with the program, the instructors, or both. Once the students have graduated, what percentage of them are being hired with the assistance of the college’s job placement program, particularly in the Oakdale WI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps exceptional. It also verifies that the program has a broad network of contacts to assist students gain internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the college you enroll in provides both excellent training and a course of study that supports 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) as well as a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PT and PTA graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on additional tests.

Are Internships Provided? Inquire if the physical therapy schools you are assessing have relationships with Oakdale WI clinics or hospitals for internship programs. Internships are not only a terrific manner to get practical experience in a clinical setting, they are also a requirement for the majority of PT programs and state licensing. As a supplemental benefit, they may help graduates and students establish professional relationships in the Oakdale medical community and assist with job placement once licensed.

What are the Class Sizes ? Unless you are the sort of student that prefers to sit far in the back of class or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Smaller classes allow for more individual participation and one-on-one instruction. Ask the physical therapy 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 speak with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacy technician program as well.

Where is the Program Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist college they decide on will have to be within travelling distance of their Oakdale WI home. Individuals who have opted to attend online classes obviously will not have to concern themselves with the location of the campus. However, the availability of local internships will be of concern. One thing to bear in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a program that is out of state or perhaps 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 often charge a higher tuition for those students that don’t reside within their districts.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Most DPT colleges provide some type of financial assistance to their prospective students. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have a financial aid department and find out what kind of help is obtainable. They at least should help in obtaining a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapy colleges offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before you eliminate a college because the tuition is beyond your budget, learn what financial assistance may be available.

Can the School Accommodate your Schedule? And last you must confirm that the physical therapy program you ultimately choose can furnish the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you choose to continue working while you attend school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oakdale WI area, verify that they are offered. If you can only attend part-time, find out if that is an alternative and how many credit hours or courses you would have to carry. Also, find out what the procedure is for making up any classes that you might miss because of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oakdale Wisconsin?

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

Oakdale, Wisconsin

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 297 people, 129 households, and 75 families residing in the village. The population density was 345.3 inhabitants per square mile (133.3/km2). There were 137 housing units at an average density of 159.3 per square mile (61.5/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 98.3% White, 0.7% African American, 0.7% Native American, and 0.3% Asian.

There were 129 households of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.9% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.96.

The median age in the village was 39.8 years. 25.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 27.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 50.8% male and 49.2% female.

Pick the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Oakdale WI

Picking the right physical therapy school is a necessary initial decision you need to make to start a gratifying career in the medical profession. As we have discussed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you choose should both have excellent reputations and accreditation. However there are additional important questions that you need to ask pertaining to your college of choice also. As you start your search for a physical therapist school, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might decide to visit each of the schools to view their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this college help me achieve my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By following our list of supplemental questions, you will have the ability to narrow down the field so you can make the best selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream of becoming a licensed physical therapist in Oakdale WI.

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