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

How to Select a Physical Therapy Degree Program near Platteville 53818

Platteville WI physical therapy school student with volunteerEarning a physical therapist degree near Platteville WI is a critical first step to launching a rewarding career in the health care field. Physical therapists (PT) help patients who have been debilitated as a result of injury or illness gain back function and mobility. But before they can practice and work with the rehabilitation of patients, they need to get the necessary training and education. A PT must additionally be licensed in every state, many requiring that the licensee receive a physical therapy degree from an accredited school. So prior to choosing a physical therapy school, it’s important to research the ones you are considering to ensure they will supply a quality education and meet your state’s licensing requirements. What you do not want to do is select a college simply because it happens to be the closest to your residence or it has the lowest tuition. There are other significant qualifications that need to be evaluated along with cost and location. But before we talk about what those qualifications are and what questions you should ask, we’ll cover what a physical therapist does and the options for education.

What is a Physical Therapist’s Job Description?

Platteville WI physical therapist helping patient walkPhysical therapists practice in varying settings, such as Platteville 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 the diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment of patients. As earlier mentioned, physical therapists help patients 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 resolve the mobility problems and lessen or eliminate any pain. They also endeavor to prevent any advancement of the disability. While the causes of disability necessitating physical therapy are abundant, they include:

  • Osteoporosis and Arthritis
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Strokes.
  • Heart attacks.
  • Sports injuries.
  • Burn injuries.
  • Knee Replacement.
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.

Licensed physical therapists work in close affiliation with other Platteville WI health specialists, including doctors, chiropractors, dentists and nurses. They may also supervise one or more physical therapy assistants who work under them assisting with diagnosing and treating their patients. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering getting into the physical therapy profession, it is quite physically demanding. Physical therapists often lift patients and heavy equipment, and kneel, crouch and stand for long periods of time on a daily basis.

Physical Therapist Degrees

Platteville WI physical therapist applying acupuncture to patientThere are 3 physical therapist degree options offered for individuals to pursue at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Of these alternatives, the one degree that is attainable to practice as a physical therapist is the doctorate. Undergraduate degrees concentrate on either preparing students to become a physical therapy assistant (PTA) or readying them to advance to the doctoral level. Below are short explanations of degree levels that are available in the Platteville WI area:

  • Associate Degrees train students to practice as physical therapy assistants, or can be used as a stepping stone to a more advanced degree. Applicants must have obtained a high school diploma or GED to qualify for enrollment. The degrees are usually offered by community or junior colleges, and require 2 years to complete. An internship or other form of clinical training is typically a portion of the program.
  • Bachelor’s Degrees are developed as pre-physical therapist training to ready candidates to progress to the doctoral level. While they are not a requirement to be qualified for the doctoral program, they are an important first step to practicing as a PT. Similar to the majority of bachelor’s degrees, they normally require 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). After earning the bachelor’s degree, the doctoral takes 3 years to complete, making the total commitment seven years in the majority of cases. Clinical or practical training is an essential element in addition to the extensive classroom and lab instruction. Therefor the completion of an internship is mandated, not solely for graduation but in several states for licensing as well.

The Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) has replaced the Master’s of Physical Therapy (MPT), which has been phased out and is no longer offered 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 current licensing mandate for a doctorate was instituted.

Physical Therapy Degrees Online

woman attending physical therapy school online in Platteville WIWhile not as prevalent as the on campus options, there are a number of accredited online physical therapist degrees available, even more at the graduate level. Due to the hands-on nature of the training, internships and clinical lab work are incorporated with the online classes. This necessitates that the student live near the college campus or nearby an available internship. Fortunately, the online segment of the curriculum can be accessed within the comfort and convenience of the student’s Platteville WI residence. Online schools are not only partially more accessible, but in a number of cases more affordable. Tuition may be somewhat less than comparable on-campus alternatives, and expenditures for commuting are reduced. And a number of the online programs are accredited by the CAPTE, assuring a quality education. These advantages may make the online alternative the right choice for those students that are disciplined enough to attend classes at home.

Topics to Ask Physical Therapist Colleges

By now you probably have come to decision regarding several of your initial questions, like the kind of physical therapist degree you intend to earn, where you prefer to attend classes, and how much money you can afford to spend for your education. But considering there are numerous PT colleges within the Platteville WI area and across Wisconsin, you’ll need to explore other qualifications as well in order to further reduce your list of school choices. Furthermore, you want to make sure that you select the school that is right for you. That’s why we have put together a list of important questions that you must ask the physical therapist programs you are considering. Ask each of the potential schools these questions before making an ultimate decision.

Is the Physical Therapy Program Accredited?  Ask if the programs you are considering have earned accreditation from a regional or a national agency. 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 choose an online program, it can also obtain accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council. It’s important that both the physical therapy program and school you enroll in are accredited, not just the school. Also, check that the accreditation is through a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Along with ensuring that you obtain a quality education, accreditation might be required for state licensing and even for getting student loans or financial aid.

What is the College’s Ranking? Along with accreditation, it’s essential that the college and program you choose have excellent reputations within the physical therapy community. 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 check online rating services and reviews and ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Get in touch with a few Platteville WI physical therapy centers or other medical care facilities that you might have an interest in working for and ask if they can offer any insight about your college options. It might also be a good idea 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 couple of useful statistics that you should know about each of the physical therapy colleges you are considering. One is their graduation rate. A lower rate might mean that students left due to displeasure 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 Platteville WI area? If a program has a higher job placement rate, it suggests that its reputation within the healthcare field is good or even exceptional. It also affirms that the college has a broad network of contacts to help students get internships or jobs upon graduation.

Does the School Support Licensing Requirements? It’s important that the program you select furnishes both exceptional training and a curriculum 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) along with a degree from an accredited physical therapy school. Although licensing requirements fluctuate state by state for PTA and PT graduates, a number of states require a minimum amount of clinical hours be completed and passing scores on supplemental exams.

Are Internship Programs Provided? Ask if the physical therapy colleges you are reviewing have associations with Platteville WI hospitals or clinics for internship programs. Internships are not only an excellent means to get hands on experience 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 develop professional relationships in the Platteville health care community and help with job placement once licensed.

What Size are the Classes ? Unless you are the sort of person that prefers to sit way in the rear of the classroom or get lost in the crowd, you will undoubtedly prefer a small class size. Small classes permit more individual participation and personalized instruction. Ask the physical therapy colleges you are considering what the typical teacher to student ratio is for their classrooms. If practical you may want to sit in on one or more classes before making your final determination. This will also give you a chance to talk with several of the students and instructors to get their opinions regarding the pharmacist tech program as well.

Where is the School Located? For many students, the physical therapist school they select will have to be within driving distance of their Platteville WI residence. 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 importance. One thing to keep 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 need 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 colleges supply some type of financial aid to their prospective students. Inquire if the schools you are considering have a financial aid office and see what kind of assistance is offered. At a minimum they should help in getting a student loan or any grants you may be eligible for. Some physical therapist colleges provide scholarships, while others provide work programs. So before eliminating a college because the tuition is too expensive, learn what financial aid might be available.

Can the Program Accommodate your Schedule? And last you need to confirm that the physical therapist school you finally choose can provide the class schedule you need. This is especially important if you decide to continue working while attending classes. If you need to schedule evening or weekend classes in the Platteville WI area, confirm that they are offered. If you can only enroll on a part-time basis, check if that is an option and how many courses or credit hours you would have to carry. Also, learn what the protocol is for making up any classes that you may miss because of work, illness or family emergencies.

Earning Your Physical Therapy Degree near Platteville Wisconsin?

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

Platteville, Wisconsin

Platteville is the largest city in Grant County in southwestern Wisconsin. The population was 11,224 at the 2010 census, growing 12% since the 2000 Census. Much of this growth is likely due to the enrollment increase of the University of Wisconsin–Platteville. It is the principal city of the Platteville Micropolitan Statistical area which has an estimated population of 49,681.

Platteville was a small farming and fur trading community along the Platte River, from which the town got its name.[5] In the 1820s, lead ore or Galena was discovered in the area, a mining boom took the area by storm. The mining district encompassed a significant portion of southwest Wisconsin, including the counties of Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, and Jo Daviess County (Illinois), which played a major role in the mining of lead and zinc ore. The Galena, Illinois mining district, an area south of Platteville, had been known to many for years.[6] Beginning in 1825, lead prices saw a dramatic boost and the Platteville economy flourished.[7] The "grey gold" (a common nickname for lead ore) was brought development of businesses and schools. Platteville's landscape was shaped by the mining that helped build the town, and mineral holes abounded everywhere.[8]

By the 1849s lead ore production was decreasing. However, the mining of zinc ore quickly filled the void for prospective work. Platteville was now an established town, complete with schools, an academy, newspaper, several churches, and a telegraph service as of November 1849."[9]

Enroll in the Best Physical Therapist College near Platteville WI

Selecting the ideal physical therapy school is a necessary first decision you must make to launch a fulfilling career in the healthcare field. As we have addressed in this article, the DPT or PT degree program and school you pick should both have outstanding reputations and accreditation. But there are other relevant questions that you should ask regarding your college of choice as well. As you begin your search for a physical therapist college, bear in mind that a number of variables will lead you toward your final decision. You might want to go to different colleges to see their facilities and talk to active DPT students. While there, ask yourself this critical question: will this college help me accomplish my goal of becoming a practicing licensed physical therapist? By adhering to our list of supplemental questions, you will be able to narrow down the options so you can make the ideal selection. And with the proper training and education, you can accomplish your dream to become a licensed physical therapist in Platteville WI.

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