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

How to Pick a Physical Therapy School near Oakfield 53065

Oakfield WI physical therapy school student with volunteerGetting a physical therapy degree near Oakfield WI is an essential first step to starting a rewarding career in the medical care industry. Physical therapists (PT) help patients 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 must acquire the necessary education and training. A PT must also be licensed in all states, a large number mandating that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited college. So prior to selecting a physical therapy school, it’s important to investigate the ones you are looking at to ensure they will supply a superior education and satisfy your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is choose a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has cheapest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that must be considered along with 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 what the educational options are.

What is a Physical Therapist?

Oakfield WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists work in a variety of locations, such as Oakfield WI hospitals, health clinics, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and health clubs. What the facilities all have in common is that they have the equipment for diagnosing and rehabilitating patients. As earlier stated, physical therapists help patients that are experiencing a lack of mobility and frequently pain due to injury or illness. After patient diagnosis, they develop a course of treatment to deal with the mobility issues and lessen or eradicate any pain. They also try to prevent any progression of the disability. Although the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are numerous, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Car or motor cycle accidents
  • Head injuries.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Sciatica.
  • Cerebral Palsy.

Licensed physical therapists work in close partnerships with other Oakfield WI health specialists, including chiropractors, physicians, dentists and nurses. They can also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with the diagnosis and treatment of their patients. One thing to bear in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy field, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapy Degrees

Oakfield WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are three physical therapy degrees available for individuals to pursue at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Of these alternatives, the single degree that is offered to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees emphasize either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or preparing them to advance to the doctoral level. Following are brief summaries of degrees that are available in the Oakfield WI area:

  • Associate Degrees educate students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or may be the first step toward earning a more advanced degree. Candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be accepted for enrollment. The degrees are typically made available by community or junior colleges, and take about 2 years to complete. 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 therapist training to ready candidates to move up to the doctoral level. Although they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an integral initial step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require four years to finish and commonly include an internship program of a minimum of 500 hours.
  • Doctorate Degrees are mandated in order to become a practicing licensed 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 7 years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an important element along with the substantial lab and classroom instruction. Therefor the fulfillment of an internship is required, not only for graduation but in some 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 attainable in the USA. A number of licensed physical therapists having a master’s or even a bachelor’s degree were “grandfathered” in prior to the existing licensing requirement for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapist Programs Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Oakfield WIWhile not as prevalent as the on-campus alternatives, there are many accredited online physical therapist programs offered, even more at the graduate level. Because of the hands-on structure of the training, clinical lab work and internships are integrated with the online classes. This requires that the student live near the school campus or in proximity of an available internship. However, the online part of the program can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Oakfield WI home. Online programs are not only partially more accessible, but in many cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and costs for commuting are reduced. And many of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, ensuring a quality education. These advantages can make the online option the right choice for those students that are motivated enough to attend classes at home.

Subjects to Ask Physical Therapy Colleges

By now you probably have made a decision concerning some of your preliminary queries, including the type of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, 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 Oakfield WI area and throughout Wisconsin, you’ll need to explore additional qualifications as well so as to further narrow your list of college choices. Moreover, you want to be sure that you pick the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of critical questions that you need to ask the physical therapy schools you are thinking about. Ask all of the potential colleges these questions before making a final selection.

Is the Physical Therapist Program Accredited?  Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. As previously mentioned, if you are pursuing a doctorate the program must be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). If you select an online college, it can also earn accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s essential that both the physical therapy program and school you choose are accredited, not just the school. Also, verify that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to ensuring that you receive a quality education, accreditation may be mandated for state licensing as well as for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Standing? In addition to accreditation, it’s imperative that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapist profession. There are multiple ways you can investigate a PT college’s reputation, starting with asking for references from employers that they refer their students to. You can also check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Contact a few Oakfield WI physical therapist clinics or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can give you any recommendations about your program options. It may also be prudent 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 College’s Job Placement Percentage? There are a couple of useful statistics that you need to know about all of the physical therapy programs you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might suggest that students left due to displeasure 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 Oakfield WI area? If a school has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the medical care field is good or perhaps excellent. It also affirms that the school has a large network of contacts to help students get internships or employment after graduation.

Does the College Support Licensing Requirements? It’s essential that the school you enroll in provides both exceptional training and a curriculum that supports the licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be working. In each state a passing score is required on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapist college. While licensing requirements differ state by state for PTA and PT graduates, some states require a minimum number of clinical hours be performed and passing scores on supplemental tests.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Inquire if the physical therapist colleges you are evaluating have relationships with Oakfield WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only a great means to obtain hands on training in a clinical environment, they are additionally a requirement for most PT programs and state licensing. As an ancillary benefit, they may help students and graduates form professional connections in the Oakfield health care community and help with obtaining employment once licensed.

How Large are the Classes ? Unless you are the type of person that likes to sit way in the rear of class or get lost in the crowd, you will probably want a small class size. Small classes enable more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are looking at what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to monitor one or more classes before making your ultimate determination. This will also give you a chance to speak with several of the instructors and students to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist technician program also.

Where is the School Located? For a lot of students, the physical therapist school they select will need to be within travelling distance of their Oakfield WI home. 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 local internships will be of concern. Something to keep in mind is that if you decide to enroll in a college that is out of state or even out of your local area, you might have to pay a higher tuition. State colleges usually charge higher tuitions for out of state residents. And community colleges frequently charge a higher tuition to those students that live outside of their districts.

Is Financial Support Provided? Most DPT schools provide some type of financial aid to their potential students. Inquire if the colleges you are looking at have a financial aid department and see what type of help is available. At a minimum they should help in obtaining a student loan or any scholarships you might qualify for. Some physical therapist schools offer scholarships, while others offer work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, find out what financial assistance may be available.

Can the College Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to verify that the physical therapist school you finally pick can provide the class schedule you need. This is particularly crucial if you decide to continue working while attending school. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Oakfield WI area, verify that they are available. 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 need to enroll in. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss as a result of work, illness or family obligations.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Oakfield Wisconsin?

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

Oakfield, Wisconsin

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 1,075 people, 392 households, and 307 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,096.9 inhabitants per square mile (423.5/km2). There were 415 housing units at an average density of 423.5 per square mile (163.5/km2). The racial makeup of the village was 96.9% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 392 households of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.1% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 21.7% were non-families. 19.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.13.

The median age in the village was 40.3 years. 26.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.7% were from 25 to 44; 29.7% were from 45 to 64; and 12.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the village was 49.3% male and 50.7% female.

Choose the Right Physical Therapist Degree Program near Oakfield WI

Selecting the ideal physical therapist college is an important first decision you have to make to launch a rewarding career in the health care field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you decide on should both have exceptional reputations and accreditation. But there are other important questions that you need to ask concerning your college of choice also. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of factors will guide you to your final decision. You may decide to visit each of the campuses to see their facilities and speak with active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this important question: will this program help me realize 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 ideal selection. And with the proper education and training, you can fulfill your dream to become a practicing physical therapist in Oakfield WI.

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